Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery, more commonly known as SPUD, is an online grocery store that connects shoppers to locally grown and organic food with a home delivery service. SPUD is a well-established business brand that originated in Metro Vancouver with many customers throughout Burnaby. In 2018 they opened a new 74,000 square foot warehouse in Burnaby to serve as their new main distribution centre and their head office was relocated to the same location at the beginning of this year.
SPUD’s business and operations are guided by principles and practices of environmental sustainability that support the goals of Burnaby’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy in the areas of Breathe, Prosper, Nourish, Conserve and Manage.
One of SPUD’s goals is to reduce the amount of kilometres food travels from farm to fork. Their home delivery service uses optimized routes and helps customers avoid individual car trips to a grocery store. Customers are also provided with the number of kilometres their item has travelled to reach the SPUD warehouse, which allows for a more informed and environmentally conscious decision when shopping online and greater understanding of sustainable food systems. Purchasing from nearby farms and food producers is also a priority for SPUD, which supports the local economy by connecting local farmers and businesses to nearby customers. SPUD reports that they presently support 464 local producers and 58 local farms and that sustainable routing of their delivery vehicles saved over 429,000 kg of greenhouse gas emissions last year, equivalent to taking 91 cars off of the road for 1 year.
SPUD’s inventory and ordering technologies are also optimized to minimize the risk of food expiring and creating more waste. Combined with their practice of donating food that is near to expiration, it is reported that SPUD has the lowest food waste of any grocery store in Canada at 0.5% and diverted over 558,000 kg of food from landfills in the last year.
SPUD uses reusable bins and freezer jackets to deliver food and keep it cool and also tries to avoid single use packaging where possible. SPUD also offers to collect any packaging from their customers for proper recycling.
The new Burnaby distribution centre is part of a new business initiative that will use their technologies and systems to optimize food warehousing, order preparation and home delivery for SPUD and for other retailers in Metro Vancouver. Consolidating more orders onto fewer vehicles will help to reduce the total kilometres travelled and reduce trips customers make to grocery stores.
Source: City of Burnaby