At SPUD.ca, our values and belief in a sustainable food system have allowed us to build a different kind of company by attracting like-minded people who believe food is one area where we can have complete control. Our customers’ choices for the past 20 years have been to support local and organic, helping us to deliver on our mission to “change the world one bite at a time”.
We’ve always taken this seriously, and with your help and ideas we have introduced some important initiatives around food waste, reducing plastics in our packaging and cutting down on GHGs.
Some examples: traditional grocery stores have produce waste of between five and six percent of sales. At SPUD.ca we use a real time proprietary produce inventory management system that provides real time visibility on all produce sales, cutting our produce waste to .5 percent — a significant difference.
Even though we encourage our customers to return our bags to us, so they are properly recycled, we remain committed to the reduction of all plastics.
Recently we started testing reusable produce bags to reduce the compostable plastic we use in our service.
SPUD.ca has always batched orders and consolidated loads so one of our trucks can deliver up to 50 orders, thus reducing the number of cars travelling to and from the grocery store. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study found that a traditional store-visiting shopper had a carbon footprint almost two times that of an online shopper. However, the environmental advantage of online shopping disappears if the shopper selects rush delivery and if every grocery store starts adding its own fleet of trucks. “These rush deliveries are the ones breaking those benefits because now there is no time to consolidate,” said Miguel Jaller, an assistant professor at UC Davis.
In 2013, SPUD.ca became a B Corp which means that the values that helped make our company successful are now etched into our charter.
Combined, these and many other seemingly little changes add up to big impacts! In a single year in Vancouver, we diverted 265,971 kg of waste from the landfill. We prevented 444.3 tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere. We saved 3,564,275 litres of water.
By staying true to our mission and values we have created a company that is growing very quickly and stands out as one of the best platforms for organic and local food delivery.
We believe now is the time for SPUD.ca to take the next logical step: to reach out beyond our community and share our innovation. Today we are pleased to announce the launch of Food-X Urban Delivery Inc. (Food-X) which will provide other grocery retailers access to our industry-leading technology, warehousing, home delivery and food preparation platform.
Today’s announcement is the first step in continuing to build our business by sharing our commitment to sustainability with other retailers large and small, local and national, by giving them access to our systems and best practices.
Food-X will be housed in a new state-of-the-art 74,000 square-foot facility in Burnaby. SPUD.ca will continue to be a part of the East Vancouver community and operate its facility on East Hastings.
With Food-X serving as the warehouse and delivery platform for other grocery providers, their customers will shop online as they always have. If that retailer is a Food-X partner, we will pick, pack and deliver those items through our most environmentally friendly commercial food delivery service in Canada.
Food-X’s focus on the environment includes:
- Consolidating orders and increasing delivery density to reduce truck trips and lower GHG emissions
- Industry-leading food waste reduction technology and practices
- Cutting edge organic waste processing bio digesters
- Reduction of plastic added in warehouse, packing, and delivery stages
- Introduction of low-waste reusable and compostable packaging
We have not changed our values around the food we provide our customers. Food-X will allow us to better support the local and organic food movement through an increased product offering from local providers. We will still maintain our banned ingredients list and source local first. Our focus on local organic and GMO free is stronger than ever. We will always believe in supporting local and organic foods and we will continue to encourage others to do the same.
Food-X is the next logical step in doing business more responsibly. Sharing services is not a new idea; in fact some of the best ideas in technology-based businesses are built around shared services — Amazon Web Services and Airbnb to name two. However, the grocery industry is built on an old model and even the recent introduction of the personal shopper only increases the ever-spiraling carbon footprint.
We are proud of the platform we have built which allows us to scale our technology and best practices, and create a new model, built to better serve all customers in a more environmental and sustainable framework. Through access to the platform, we can bring more companies along with us as we work to “change the world one bite at a time.”
We invite and encourage all companies to start to work with us in that direction.
Peter van Stolk