Giant Food expands program to recycle food into energy

Giant Food Divert facility
a Divert facility where the company provides an end-to-end solution that prevents waste.

Giant Food is enacting a partnership to prevent wasted food from going to landfills across all of its stores.

The greater Washington, D.C. regional grocery chain has recycled more than 30.8 million pounds of wasted food processed in its first year of collaboration with end-to-end recycling platform Divert Inc., mitigating nearly 1,400 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). The recycled food is processed into renewable energy.

In June 2022, Giant launched a wasted food recycling pilot program with Divert in an effort to reduce the amount of organic waste going to landfill. Giant's stores mark down, repurpose, or donate unsold and edible food to local food banks whenever possible. For the food that cannot be repurposed or donated, Divert is able to recycle it into renewable energy.

This collaboration has expanded to include all 165 stores under the Giant banner across MarylandVirginiaDelaware, and Washington, D.C., processing on average 500 pounds of wasted food each day per store.

“We recognize our responsibility as a leader in the grocery space to make a positive impact on the environment and tackle waste reduction," said Diane Hicks, senior VP of operations at Giant Food. "We're proud of the success of our collaboration with Divert thus far and look forward to continuing our work together and expanding our efforts toward a healthier planet."

"Wasted food is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and can cost the average grocery store about $40,000 in lost profit daily," said Ryan Begin, CEO and co-founder, Divert. "Giant Food shares our commitment to tackling these issues through wasted food prevention and food donations that benefit our environment, communities, and ultimately, retailers' bottom lines. Through our ongoing collaboration with Ahold Delhaize USA and Giant Food, true sustainability leaders in the retail industry, we are eager to accelerate our impact together in the coming years."

Giant and Divert intend to expand the partnership in the coming year to further increase diversion and donation efforts for Giant's divisions. Other Giant efforts to reduce food waste include a partnership with the Flashfood app. Flashfood enables customers to browse deals on fresh items. Purchases are made directly through the app, and customers then pick their order up from the Flashfood zone located inside their participating Giant store. 

Headquartered in Landover, Md., Giant Food operates 165 supermarkets in VirginiaMarylandDelaware, and the District of Columbia with approximately 20,000 associates. Included within the 165 stores are 153 full-service pharmacies and 27 Starbucks locations.

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