UNFI releases 2021 Better for All report and expands ESG focus

March 16, 2022

United Natural Foods Inc. released its fiscal year 2021 Better for All report, which covers UNFI’s progress toward its environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments. The report takes a more holistic view of the company’s value chain compared to previous editions and demonstrates accountability for the critical role it plays, given its position and scale, to drive change across the food industry.

In the company’s 11th year of reporting on social and environmental impacts, the 2021 Better for All report expands the six impact focus areas announced last year to provide a more in-depth look at UNFI’s direct and indirect impacts at multiple points along its value chain. UNFI’s key focus areas now include diversity and inclusion, responsible procurement, community development, governance, associate safety and well-being, climate action, waste reduction, customer health and safety, and energy efficiency.

“Our collective mission is to help make our customers and the communities we serve stronger, our supply chain better, and our food solutions more inspired,” said UNFI chief executive officer, Sandy Douglas. “From our more intentional hiring practices to our revamped supplier diversity program and our investments in climate-smart technology, UNFI wants to be a trusted partner and food industry leader in doing business the right way. As we accelerate our work across our ESG commitments, we are proud of the progress we are making on transparency, accountability and impact.”

Fiscal year 2021 progress

UNFI reports current progress on the 10 formal goals it announced in 2020, providing a clear indication of which targets are on track, ahead of schedule or slightly behind. Throughout 2021, UNFI took a variety of steps to advance its ESG ambitions, including, but not limited to, the following activities:

  • Created an Executive Steering Committee to oversee the programs and practices that guide how UNFI shows up as a socially and environmentally responsible organization.
  • Added two new goals related to its enhanced diversity and inclusion strategic plan.
  • Awarded over $1 million in grants through the UNFI Foundation to build better food systems.
  • Completed a robust analysis and submitted its Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions strategy, initiatives and reduction targets to the science-based targets initiative.
  • Achieved LEED Gold certification for its Riverside, CA building.
  • Reduced 1.6 million miles from UNFI distribution routes through the company’s maximized routes and ValuePath initiative.
  • Launched new Every Moment Matters safety brand and enhanced safety programming across its network of distribution centers.
  • Added 53 solar-powered electric trailers to its fleet in California.
  • Launched four new associate-led Belonging & Innovation Groups (BIGs).
  • Contributed over $2,400,000 in financial donations across all partners.
  • Distributed over $38,700,000 in in-kind donations to partners, including food and non-food items.
  • Piloted the Friends of UNFI Food Bank program in partnership with PCC Community Markets, the largest consumer-owned food cooperative in the United States.

The annual edition of the report is available at BetterForAll.UNFI.com.


Business Wire/UNFI
As United Natural Foods Inc.'s chief corporate affairs officer, Matt Echols will oversee the food distributor's teams for corporate communications, public policy, government relations, and environmental, social and governance.

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