Wakefern Sustainability Commitment

Animal Welfare

The foundation of our program is based on 10 different species standards that we developed in collaboration with our suppliers and the following five basic freedoms that all animals should have: Freedom from hunger and thirst, Freedom from discomfort, Freedom from pain, injury, or disease, Freedom from fear and distress, Freedom to express most normal behaviors. We work with our vendors to ensure that our brands are sourced from suppliers who meet these standards.

Sustainable Seafood

We partner with both entities and work with suppliers to guarantee that the wild-caught and farm-raised seafood in our stores are sourced from certified, sustainable fisheries and farms and that we are providing the highest quality seafood to our customers while ensuring there will be abundant supply in the future. We have also made the commitment to not supply products identified as red-listed species due to overfishing and compromised ecosystems, such as blue-fin tuna and shark

Sustainable Packaging

We are a proud member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a leading voice and collaborative for sustainable packaging. Through our membership, we are able to share best practices and emerging research in this space, which has helped us refine our approach to include three key areas of focus: Responsible Sourcing, Design Optimization, Design for Recovery

Food Waste & Diversion

We remain dedicated to providing food for our communities while taking a multi-faceted approach to reducing food waste in all of our stores. Wakefern and its banners donate well over 7 million pounds of fresh food annually.

Recycling Center

In the early 1970s, we opened our very own materials recovery facility in Elizabeth, NJ. Since its inception, our facility has recycled over 2.6 million tons of material. Our warehouses, offices and banner stores recycle over 150,000 tons of material annually including cardboard, plastic bags/flexible plastic film, paper, hard plastics and wooden crates.

We believe the best bag is a reusable bag. That’s why we’ve joined the Beyond the Bag Initiative, working alongside other major retailers to address plastic bag waste at an industry-wide scale. Our stores promote bag reuse with a broad assortment of affordable, sustainable and reusable bags for shoppers. Reusing, recycling and reducing the number of bags we use means less trash is sent to the landfill and fewer environmental resources are wasted.

Responsible Sourcing

Whether we’re directly involved in our suppliers’ practices or not, their actions have a fundamental impact on our own social, ethical, and environmental footprint. That’s why it’s critical for us to have a sustainable and ethical supply chain for our products. Our responsible sourcing requires that supply chains respect human rights, ensure safe living and working conditions, prohibit child or forced labor, and minimize any negative environmental and social impact of their practices.

ENGO Efforts

To further our commitment to conserve our planet for future generations, we support over 20 Environmental Non-Government Organization's (E-NGO's) at the state and regional level committed to creating cleaner, more sustainable environments in the communities where we live and operate.

Learn more about our E-NGO partnerships and support.

ENGO Logos

Waste Reduction

We also keep materials out of the waste stream and operate our very own recycling center. The facility has recycled over 2.6 million tons of materials since first opening in the late 1970s. Last year, our stores recycled 128,648 tons of waxed and corrugated cardboard, 421 tons of newspaper, 132 tons of office paper, and 38 tons of metal. ShopRite also composted more than 8,200 tons of food waste at our stores.

Awards and Certifications

Whether it is a national Food Recovery Challenge Award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) or successfully obtaining certifications via the Grocery Stewardship Certification (GSC), our stores are award winners. Last year, we added statewide conservation awards from the Audubon Society and Earth Share for our conservation and community involvement efforts, and a business award from the organization Organix for our successful composting program (see previous article).

Green Teams

Green Teams are groups of associates that work together to explore new ways to make our stores and facilities more sustainable. They also partner with community organizations and help support local environmental efforts. Right now, we have more than 100 Green Teams, and the number keeps growing.

Earth Day at ShopRite

Every Earth Day, ShopRite Team Green associates partner with environmental nonprofits and local organizations in their communities for cleanups and events. Volunteers beautify their communities by participating in activities like cleaning up litter at parks and beaches, planting flowers in urban communities, and removing invasive species from native plants.

TerraCycle Partnership

ShopRite is teaming up with TerraCycle to offer a free recycling pilot program available at 5 ShopRite locations for consumers to recycle their flexible film packaging.

Consumers can drop off their home, pet, and gardening packaging, flexible snack food packaging, and plastic wrap and shopping bags into the ShopRite Collection Kiosks at the following locations:

· ShopRite of Brookdale

· ShopRite of Newark

· ShopRite of Greater Morristown · ShopRite of Livingston

· ShopRite of Stirling

Learn more about the recycling pilot program here.

Participating TerraCycle Products


Thank You to Our Sponsored Organizations

So much is possible when people come together to make a difference. ShopRite works with the following environmental organizations to create more sustainable communities: Audubon Societies of New Jersey & Connecticut, Blue Water Baltimore, Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), Clean Communities of New Jersey, Clean Ocean Action (COA), Coastal Research & Education Society of Long Island (CRESLI), Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, Delaware Estuary Partnership, Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN), Delaware River Sojourn, Edmund Niles Hyuck Preserve & Biological Research Station, Friends of Island Beach State Park, Greater Newark Conservancy, Hackensack Riverkeeper, Inc., Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc., Jersey Shore Partnership, KNOX Inc. of CT, New Jersey Highlands Coalition, New Jersey Envirothon, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Pollinator Partnership, Raritan Headwaters Association, Soundwaters of CT, The Nature Conservancy and The Wetlands Institute.