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Waste not want not
Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the US with 2400 supermarkets in 31 states will be turning food waste in biogas that will in turn power a portion of their California distribution center. Any food that can’t be sold or donated will help power its 650,000 square foot Ralphs/Food 4 Less distribution center in Compton, California. An anaerobic digester will process over 55,000 tons of food waste a year, about 150 tons a day, providing 20% of the facility’s energy. And it will use 150 zero emission fuel cell forklifts to do the job. Kroger’s biogas system is designed and operated by Boston-based FEED Resource Recovery, Inc., which has developed a closed loop, zero waste solution for the food industry. Kroger says its investment in the biogas digester will be paid back within five years, an 18.5% return on investment. It’s considering adding biogas to other distribution sites.
Forbes recognized Kroger as the most generous company in America for its food contributions – 125 million meals a year through more than 80 Feeding America food bank partners.
Morgan Stanley dishes out for the hungry.
Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, announced recently that the global financial services firm Morgan Stanley has made an $8 million commitment to the organization that will help provide nutritious food to millions of families in need across the country. The gift from Morgan Stanley to Feeding America and its nationwide network of food banks is the largest single year gift ever received by the hunger organization from a financial institution. The donation will go to fund a number of initiatives across the Feeding America network including funding for more than $4 million in awards to food banks over the next four years, including 27 food banks in 17 states this spring that will be used to help meet the nutritional needs of families in those communities. According to the US Department of Agriculture, there are more than 50 million food insecure individuals in the US, including more than 16 million children. Along with financial contributions to fight hunger, Morgan Stanley has also provided Feeding America with invaluable pro bono strategic consulting services that are expected to lead to the more efficient delivery of food to Feeding America’s nearly 37 million clients. Through the Morgan Stanley “Strategy Challenge,” staff from Feeding America worked with Morgan Stanley experts in an effort to cut costs and improve service. The group came up with a groundbreaking innovation called “Deal Café,” a virtual community where Feeding America food banks can work together to find the best prices possible on non-food products to help reduce costs and share savings across the Network. Feeding America officials believe the savings could generate as much as $10M across the entire Feeding America network of 202 food banks covering nearly every county in the United States.
Fire and Building Safety in the supply chain
In the weeks since a tragic building collapse in Bangladesh which claimed more than 1,100 lives, a pact among global retailers to protect Bangladesh factory workers has garnered newfound support, with more companies signing commitments by the day. The pact, officially known as the Accord on Fire and Building Safety on Bangladesh, originated last year and focuses on expanding worker rights and bettering fire and building safety standards. Now, facing international pressure to take action, numerous retailers have committed to a modified version, including Swedish retailer H&M, the biggest purchaser of garments from Bangladesh. The pact entails a five-year commitment and requires participating retailers not only to conduct independent safety inspections of factories, but also pay up to $500,000 per year toward safety improvements. The agreement is also backed by the International Labor Organization, trade unions and other lobby groups.
As an immediate response, the investors are appealing to the companies to:
- Join the Accord on Fire and Building Safety
- Commit to strengthening local trade unions and a living wage for all workers
- Disclose all their suppliers, and their health and safety programs
- Ensure that appropriate grievance mechanisms, including compensation, are in place.
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