Closing the loop at Sainsbury’s

An Appetite For Local Giving

We’re proud of our zero waste to landfill policy: we don’t throw anything away. Instead, we make sure all left over materials or food are reused or recycled.

And we try to support our customers to reduce their waste at home by  making recycling easier and more convenient; whether it’s by offering a comprehensive range of recycling banks at our supermarkets or redesigning to reduce the volume of packaging used to make our own brand products.

Food waste

We work closely with our growers to produce great tasting fruit and vegetables. Sometimes we decide to reduce the specification on the fresh produce we source so we can make the most of the crop when we’re hit with unseasonal weather, and this means you may occasionally find a misshapen piece of fruit or vegetables in our basics range. These wonky carrots or knobbly potatoes can be found in our basics range; we can assure you that they’ll taste the same as their picture-perfect counterpart – and we’re also all helping to reduce food waste by keeping them in the food chain.

Taste Not Waste

Clothing donations

Our recycling centres across the country receive the highest volume of donations for Oxfam beyond its own shops. In the last year our customers donated over 2,992 tonnes of clothing and accessories as well as over 561 tonnes of CDs and DVDs.

Read more about this in our factsheet on the environment.

9 Million Pieces Of Clothing To Oxfam

Food donation

Our Zero Waste to Landfill commitment means that our surplus food never goes to waste. Through our Food Donation scheme, over 300 of our stores have set up food donation partnerships in their local areas, and we are dedicated to increasing that number. We equip our stores to set up partnerships with registered charities for both people and animals that use food to fulfil their charitable work. Our stores build relationships with these charities who collect our surplus food from the store each week. We donate food that has passed its sell by date (but not its use by date), or products with damaged packaging which can’t be sold but are fit for human consumption.

Read more in our factsheets on the environment and community.

An Appetite For Local Giving Large

You'll be seeing these graphics pop up in our bigger stores - do let me know what you think in the comments below.

Celia Cole is Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Manager at Sainsbury's

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5 comments for “Celia Cole: Closing the loop at Sainsbury’s”

  • Jessica Latchford14 January 2015 at 16:05:11

    Hi Celia, loving your work!! Did you find it hard to organise the logistics of getting the food that is passed its sell-by date to the charities? Do you deliver it or is it collected? Also, is it hard to estimate how much you're going to have and therefore how much the charities will be short? Sorry for the 20 questions - just this is a big passion of mine. Many thanks, Jess

  • Amy and Celia14 January 2015 at 17:10:01

    Hi Jessica - we have a Food Donations Partnerships scheme which operates at a local level. Each one of our stores can set up partnerships with charities in their area, and arrange for the charity to come and collect any surplus food (that's food which has passed its sell by or display by date, but not its use by date, so it is still fit for consumption). The majority of these charities prepare food on the premises (e.g. crisis centres) and so use the food within a small time window. Over 300 of our stores have partnerships in place, and we are working to increase this. You can read more about our work on food redistribution in our factsheet on environment and the factsheet on community: Thank you for taking the time to comment! Amy and Celia

  • katherine barbery18 January 2015 at 14:13:40

    Keep up the good work ,more supermarkets should be made to do this by the government

  • BARBARA TRENCHER05 February 2015 at 16:08:06

    How can I find out if my local store is one of the 300 who has formed a partnership? If they haven't, who do I need to speak to?

  • Donna Grout05 February 2015 at 17:07:24

    Hi Barbara, Thank you for reading Celia's blog and taking an interest in our food donation partnerships. To find out if your local store does have a food donation partner you're best to check with the store itself and talk to the store manager. All of our stores work hard to find food donation partners and the number with partnerships is growing all the time. Best wishes, Donna