Defense Commissary Agency celebrates Earth Day by reducing its environmental footprint through recycling, food donations, and environmentally friendly products

FORT LEE, Va., 2016-Apr-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — As Earth Day rolls around the Defense Commissary Agency is working diligently to reduce its environmental footprint through recycling, food donations, and environmentally friendly products.

“Seven stores have achieved ‘net zero’ status,” said Robin Armhold, DeCA’s environmental engineer. “That means through organic material disposal contracts and other means the stores have virtually no waste.”

Net zero waste is a total systems effort that changes the way materials flow through an organization, ideally resulting in no waste. Instead of throwing waste away, stores divert it to a contractor who turns all organic waste into compost. The following stores have reached the mark: two stores in Washington, at McChord Air Force Base and Fort Lewis; the four stores in Hawaii, at Schofield Barracks, Hickam Air Force Base, Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay and Naval Station Pearl Harbor; and the store at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California.

And DeCA is doing much more to help stores reduce their footprints.

In 2015, DeCA stores recycled almost 1,920 tons of plastic, more than 60,000 tons of cardboard and over 108 tons of paper. It has also composted or repurposed almost 6 million pounds of organic material, recycled over 5 million pounds of pallets and another 3 million pounds of things like fats, bones, kitchen grease, metal and wood.

So far, for 2015, records show about $1.8 million has been earned from recycling cardboard and plastic. The proceeds from the transactions go to the surcharge fund, which help to build new commissaries and renovate older stores.

But that’s not all.

Commissaries also donate edible but unsellable food to food banks around the country through their food bank donation program. To date there are 136 commissaries working with 123 foodbanks, and in 2015, almost 2.4 million pounds of food were donated.

“The edible but unsellable food is good, wholesome food,” said Armhold. “The food bank gets fruits and vegetables for their clients, which helps the community, and the commissary doesn’t have to send edible food to a landfill, which helps DeCA save significant money due to disposal cost avoidance.”

DeCA also makes it easy for its patrons to get involved with “green” purchasing. Customers can purchase organically grown fruits and vegetables, compact fluorescent and LED light bulbs, high-efficiency laundry products, and environmentally friendly cleaning products. Customers can also find products with reduced packaging like paper towel and bathroom tissue without the cardboard tubes.

“We have a goal to eliminate waste because we spend millions of dollars every year on waste disposal,” Armhold said. “Reaching our goal requires a nonstop education process to ensure folks are doing all they can to keep all waste, including food, from landfills.”

Food banks interested in receiving edible but unsellable food from a commissary should contact their local store for information on how to apply.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil

Tesco customers donated record number of meals during the fifth Neighbourhood Food Collection

Cheshunt, England, 2014-12-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Tesco customers have donated a record number of meals during the fifth Neighbourhood Food Collection, as Brits prove to be more generous than ever before.

4.7 million meals were donated by Tesco customers, to be split between charity partners FareShare and Trussell Trust. The full total of meals donated to people in need since December 2012 is now at 21.5million, weighing in at over 9,000 tons. This includes permanent and local collections plus surplus food provisions.

During the collection, customers were asked to donate non-perishable food items such as long-life milk, cereals and tinned vegetables and fruit. Volunteers from the Trussell Trust, FareShare, Rotary Club, BT and the British Red Cross joined Tesco colleagues in store to collect donations from kind-hearted customers.

The food collected will benefit those living in food poverty, many of whom struggle the most during the winter months. Tesco provides a 30% top up to the charities on all food donated.

The news of the record breaking Neighbourhood Food Collection comes as a survey by YouGov and commissioned by Tesco reveals that a third (32%) of the British public have remembered vulnerable people in need by generously donating food to those in need across the country. The survey also reveals the spread of generosity across the Britain, as the North West comes out on top as the most generous region (39%), ahead of Wales (38%), South East (37%) and Scotland (37%).

Food poverty continues to be a serious issue across the UK despite the economic recovery, as figures published by the Trussell Trust this winter showed the number of people helped by food banks in the first half of the 2014-15 financial year is 38% higher than numbers helped during the same period last year.

Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare, said: “We at FareShare have been blown away by the generosity of people donating in Tesco stores across the country to help people in need.  The total amount of food collected this time has been staggering and surpassed all expectations.  It is a reflection of our amazing volunteers and partner organisations across the country who selflessly gave up their time to help collect food donations and of the great British public who have responded so generously to the call for action.  Sadly food poverty affects a large number of people across the UK and we are now providing food to 32% more charities than we did six months ago. From homeless hostels to breakfast clubs, women’s refuges to lunch clubs for older people, these frontline organisations need food more than ever.  The donations from this Neighbourhood Food Collection will make a huge difference to these organisations’ ability to not only serve nutritious meals for people in need but also provide additional support to help people back on their feet. Thank you!”

David McAuley, Trussell Trust Chief Executive, says: “Last year in December alone over 100,000 people received three days’ food from Trussell Trust foodbanks, including over 30,000 children. This year, we’re seeing more people living on a financial knife edge where any small crisis can cause them to go hungry. Thanks to incredible public kindness, many people who would’ve been forced to make tough choices between eating and heating will receive emergency food this winter. Thousands of people who would’ve struggled to put any food on the table on Christmas Day will now receive festive hampers from Trussell Trust foodbanks thanks to the Tesco’s Neighbourhood Food Collection. It’s inspirational to see over a third of the UK now supporting their local food charity, and we’d like to thank everyone who has donated – every can helps.”

Greg Sage, Community Director for Tesco, commented: “The response from our customers, colleagues and volunteers has been incredible and it’s thanks to them that our fifth Neighbourhood Food Collection has broken records. I’d like to thank everyone who took part – they are the ones who made it all happen. It’s really encouraging that people across the UK see Food Poverty as an important issue and continue to provide for those in need.”

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on
01992 644645
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