In addition to doing our part to tackle climate change (see Climate Action ), we are also committed to reducing our environmental impacts to ensure we are using resources sustainably and reducing waste. These efforts protect the communities where our teammates, customers and partners live and work. They also contribute to our progress in reducing climate-related impacts throughout our supply chain while delivering sustainable products and services to our customers.
Fiscal 2022 Performance Highlight
$13M donated in partnership with Earth Day Canada to support environmental initiatives since 2008.
In fiscal 2022 we developed a new Environmental Policy that confirms our business commitment to protecting the environment. The policy, aligned with the ISO 14001:2015 standard, recognizes global environmental challenges and their relevance to our business, as well as the imperative to act.
It addresses key impact areas defined by our 2021 materiality assessment and includes climate change, energy management, food waste, plastics and packaging, and ethical and sustainable sourcing.
To deliver on OurPartTM to protect the environment for future generations, we’ve set targets in material areas of environmental impact within our business (see Food Waste, Climate Action, Ethical and Sustainable Sourcing).
As stated in our Environmental Policy, at minimum we aim to comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations and to demonstrate due diligence in the protection of the environment. Given the national reach of our operations, we keep up to date with all new, emerging and existing environmental regulations across all three levels of government in Canada. We participate in several industry-wide working committees, including the Retail Council of Canada’s Working Committees on Extended Producer Responsibility/Stewardship and Plastics and other working groups.
In addition to our new Environmental Policy, we have developed policies related to reducing environmental impacts in our supply chain. For example, over the past year, we’ve updated our Sustainable Palm Oil Policy (initially adopted in 2016), to advance our commitment to source 100 per cent physical trace certified sustainable palm oil by 2025 for our Own Brands products. Over the coming year, we will focus on developing protein-specific guidelines for the ethical treatment of livestock.
We also have a robust waste management approach, ensuring all parts of our business are working to reduce waste while also dealing with it responsibly. Learn more about our Waste Management Program.
Using Water Responsibly
With water and energy conservation top of mind, we partnered with Ecolab, an energy resource company, on a new project aimed at reducing water consumption. As a pilot project in select Sobeys stores in Alberta, we have installed Ecolab low-flow aerators in high water-use areas. Each sink aerator can save one gallon of water per minute, while spray-valve units can help save 1.15 gallons per minute. In a similar initiative, we have partnered with Clēan Flow to trial a new, ozone-based produce sanitization process that can eliminate water use from produce sanitization while ensuring our fruits and vegetables are safe for customers. These are just two of the many options we are exploring to reduce water use in more than 600 of our stores nationwide.
Supporting Urban Pollinators
Pollinators like bees are essential to supporting local biodiversity in the communities we serve. Through our partnership with urban beekeeping company Alvéole , we have beehives on the rooftops of 50 Sobeys and Safeway stores throughout Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. Over the next two years, we plan to bring hives to 160 more Sobeys, Safeway and Thrifty Foods locations in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and the Greater Toronto Area.
We are very proud of our partnership with the Fonds Éco IGA, which was founded in 2008 by Quebec’s IGA grocers, who donate $1 million to it annually. It is managed by Jour de la Terre, an organization that helps people and organizations reduce their impact on the environment. This investment in our community is crucial to creating concrete actions to reduce our impact on the environment by focusing on waste management, food waste and sustainable mobility in all regions of Quebec and New Brunswick.”
Carl Pichette, Vice President Marketing, E-Commerce
As a family nurturing families, we want to ensure Canadians are taken care of today, tomorrow and in the future. By doing OurPart™ for the environment, we hope to inspire our customers to do theirs. Every step we take together—big or small—can make a difference.Learn More