Top green designation shows New Seasons isn't wasting a thing

New Seasons diverts 92 percent of its waste from landfills, a skill that has earned the grocer big-time environmental honors.
Courtesy of Community Environmental Services at Portland State University

New Seasons diverts 92 percent of its waste from landfills, a skill that has earned the grocer big-time environmental honors.

Portland grocery favorite New Seasons Market has received word that the company, in a formalized fashion, is officially a “zero-waste” business.

Portland State University’s Community Environmental Services confirmed New Seasons' status. An audit by the PSU group calculated that New Seasons diverts 92 percent of its waste away from area landfills into materials that others can use.

The Zero Waste International Alliance considers any waste diversion rate higher than 90 percent to meet its “zero-waste” standards.


Waste not: Behind the scenes of a waste audit


The label affirms what the store has done since opening its first outlet in 2000 in the Raleigh Hills neighborhood, said Wendy Collie, New Seasons Market’s president and CEO.

“For us, zero waste is a way of thinking and a process to shift our focus from what to do with our waste, to preventing waste from the outset,” she said.

New Seasons Market enlisted CES, which is a research and service unit within PSU’s College of Urban and Public Affairs, to assess and measure the average daily material stream generated by the company’s 12 stores. CES spent 335 hours poring through New Seasons’ items.

Among the findings: The greenhouse gas reductions achieved by New Seasons’ current materials management program every month are the equivalent of removing the annual emissions from 138 passenger vehicles. That equates to conserving 78,785 gallons of gas.

“New Seasons Market’s employees have a particularly strong zero waste mindset,” said Eric Crum, who directs the Community Environmental Services group, in a statement. “For a multi-location grocer to exceed a zero waste threshold it takes every department and every employee to be committed and aware of their actions and impacts.”

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