Raley’s has an environmental mission to reduce waste and use of micro-plastics, increase recycling efforts, save water, focus on energy efficiency, and more. “Raley’s has taken an innovative stance on the environment because it creates value for our customers – and it’s the right thing to do,” says the website of the wholesaler based in West Sacramento, California. “As a result, we are constantly looking for new technologies and strategies to reduce our carbon footprint.”
On the food waste side, over the past few years, Raley has used a management software program to identify expired products with the aim of reducing food waste, said Raley’s Director of Sustainability, Mark Koppang.
“We are able to have a significant impact on food waste,” said Koppang WGB regarding Raley’s use of Pinpoint’s Date Check Pro software solution. “Over the past two years, we’ve prevented more than 500,000 pounds of food waste by identifying products that are about to expire with Date Check Pro – some just need to be rolled back to the front of the shelf and others need a price reduction.
“We have also been able to save our buyers who bought this discount product more than $ 1 million in the last two years,” he continued. “As well as the product being sold, we can also donate significantly more product by catching it before it expires than after, but we haven’t calculated the exact impact so far.”
Raley’s, which implemented a software solution three years ago, found that the Pinpoint program had played an important role in helping the team in its shop to identify date items that were approaching code and expiring in a timely manner. “Doing so allows us to maximize our sales by rotating our stock, as well as effectively identifying items to donate before they come out of code and need to be discarded,” said Koppang.
Although historically wholesalers had to manually check the date of sale based on each product, software management systems such as Pinpoint’s have simplified the process and delivered results.
“Pro Check dates are from the days I check spot dates at the Foods Festival. I was never satisfied with the reactive nature of the job – looking for expired items by combing section by section and filling carts with old food, “said the CEO of Pinpoint Software Inc. Andrew Hoeft. “The drive to find more predictable ways to prevent customers from finding those items before I or my team do them and save the shop money, is something I do every day.”
And while using Date Check Pro hasn’t eliminated Raley’s workforce need to manage the identification and removal of expired products, Koppang said, using the program has “streamlined the process, allowing us to gradually reduce our workforce for this task.”
With sustainability becoming increasingly important to the wholesale industry and businesses around the world, Raley’s also focuses its environmental efforts and strives to make a difference in a number of areas including:
- Reduction of Waste Flow. “We are working hard to reduce the amount of paper waste that we produce,” the company said. By simply printing receipts on both sides of the paper, Raley has reduced registration tape usage by 40%.
- Recycle. Every year, more than half of the waste generated by Raley’s stores is diverted from landfills by reusing or being recycled. Our produce set aside and prune is reused for energy generation and grocery stores recycle cardboard, plastic wrap, corrugated containers, wax-coated corrugated containers, newspapers and pallets.
- Micro-Plastic Reduction. Raley’s has partnered with Take Care Tahoe in an effort to reduce the amount of micro-plastic found in Lake Tahoe and its surrounding basins. “Drink Tahoe Tap” The campaign is designed to educate consumers about the effects of disposable water bottle waste and micro-plastic pollution.
- Water Conservation. Reducing water use while maintaining high standards of hygiene and food safety is another challenge Raley has accepted, the company said. Using drought-resistant landscaping in its parking lots, optimizing water use in its production section, and tap aerators have contributed to overall water savings.
- Transportation and Logistics. Raley replaced its entire fleet of diesel powered tractors with the latest high-efficiency models. It also upgrade or replace refrigerated trailers to ensure all use energy-efficient cooling system, reduce air pollution. Electric vehicle charging stations at certain locations allow customers and employees to charge while they are shopping or working.
- Store Design and Build Improvements. “Every remodel and build a new store is an opportunity to increase sustainability,” the company said. The newly renovated shop has water-efficient taps, low-flow toilets and waterless urinal. The new shop features durable concrete floors instead of vinyl. LED lighting is used for all renovation and new shop construction. The solar array in some buildings allows for “huge savings in power usage.
- Cooling, Heating and Cooling.Most Raley stores use a highly reflective “cool roof” to reduce air conditioning loads. The company also uses a multilevel air system, which consumes less energy to regulate air temperature. “We use innovative technology to reduce our refrigerant emission levels, earning our company much coveted award from the US Environmental Protection Agency,” notes the Raley website.
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