We create sustainable food systems.
That doesn’t just mean selling locally grown food, it means sustainability at every stage of our business, from farm to fork. We’re far from perfect, but we’re proud to say we’re Canada’s most sustainable grocery company.
We have the lowest food waste in Canada.
Food waste is a huge problem. More than 1/3 of all food in Canada never gets eaten1! That’s why we’re committed to reducing food waste, and have the lowest (0.5%) food waste of any grocery store in Canada.
So how do we do it?
We sell imperfect produce
We sell “imperfect” produce items for those who don’t mind their fruit and veggies with a little more character. Other stores reject produce that isn’t aesthetically pleasing.
We donate food to those in need.
We donate produce and grocery items to mission-driven organizations that help the hungry. We support QUEST Food Exchange and the GVFB in Vancouver, Bissell Centre Food Bank in Edmonton, the Food Bank and Mustard Seed in Calgary, and Rainbow Kitchen on Vancouver Island.
No instore displays means fewer hands on your food and less waste.
As an online store, we only purchase what we think we will actually sell instead of creating wasteful, overstuffed displays that allow food to expire or get damaged sitting on the shelf.
Leftovers are over rated.
We only order what we need.
Many products like local bread, salads, soups, and other meals are made fresh when customers order them, so we don’t over-order these perishable, short shelf-life items. Our inventory technology allows for predictive ordering and better inventory control of our produce which helps to keep waste to an absolute minimum.
We Love Composting
Our offices and warehouses compost enthusiastically and transparently. Unlike other companies, we don’t hide our food waste in locked metal dumpsters.
Single Use Packaging Is Out!
Reuseable SPUD Bins
Every reusable SPUD bin we pack saves approximately 3 plastic bags from the landfill. Our bins are sturdy, easy to carry, and (most importantly) they keep your food safe.
Insulated and reusable, our freezer jackets keep your food and the environment cool! Instead of using throw-away insulation, we pick up freezer jackets, wash them, and reuse them.
Shopping at SPUD is like carpooling for your groceries
We group customers by postal code and use software that optimizes our delivery routes to be as efficient as possible. This helps to keep our emissions from vehicles as low possible, because our trucks and trikes take the shortest, most condensed path possible.
Research shows that this type of grocery delivery enables us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than half, compared to if customers went to the grocery store themselves! (2)
We Love Local
We don’t like long distance relationships. Purchasing from nearby farms & producers helps us reduce transportation emissions, build community and circulates 2.6x more into the local economy compared to multinational companies. We currently have roughly 500 local vendors and farms. Our goal is to help local businesses and farmers reach their customers by providing them with a large distribution network under which they can grow.
We list the distance your food traveled from producer to our warehouse, helping you make educated choices about the impact of the things you buy. If something isn’t local we always try to work with sustainable, organic and fair trade growers who are doing the right thing. Our commitment to our customers is to be transparent about where their food comes from.
Electric Trike Delivery
We also use RadBurro Electric Trikes for local deliveries leaving our Vancouver warehouse. See how it works.
We refer to the following diagram for as many of our processes as possible.
Zero Waste Pyramid
We recycle for you
Have you heard of our Takeback Program?
We are actively working towards a goal of zero waste. As a first step, we are proud to have launched our Takeback program! This program allows customers to return their Be Fresh and Nature’s Path pouches to us and we will send them to a specialized recycling company who turns them into products like outdoor furniture. We are actively working to expand the program to other brands.
Let’s change the world together
There are tons of ways we can all be more sustainable in our personal lives, so we’re always on the hunt for tips for reducing food waste, saving energy and more. If you’re keen to learn, check out our Let’s Not Waste articles on the SPUD blog to start.
And last but not least, we believe cultivating a healthy community is a key component of sustainability.
To date, we’ve raised over $72, 210 through our fundraising programs and campaigns, which has been donated to roughly 21 local organizations like Young Agrarians, No Woman Without. Period., and the Vancouver General Hospital.
WE’RE A CERTIFIED B CORPORATION.
SPUD is proud to be a certified B Corporation – a new kind of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.
B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee. B Corps are for-profit companies certified to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Benefiting people and the environment is written into our legal DNA.
We’re proud to add our name to a network of over 2,000 like-minded companies in over 50 countries around the world.
We’re not perfect, but we’re trying.
We are actively working on various reusable container programs and looking for innovative ways to reduce our reliance on single-use packaging.
(1) A Food Loss and Waste Strategy for Canada. National Zero Waste Council. 2018. http://www.nzwc.ca/focus/food/national-food-waste-strategy/Documents/NZWC-FoodLossWasteStrategy.pdf
(2) “What If More People Bought Groceries Online Instead of Driving to a Store?” Green Vehicle Guide. https://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/what-if-more-people-bought-groceries-online-instead-driving-store