Hannaford's efforts to reduce food waste were recently highlighted in a study commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC). A sidebar titled "An Example of Food Retail Waste Reduction" features Hannaford's award-winning food-waste reduction program and addresses its sustainability initiatives.
Hannaford was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for excellent performance in food waste reduction and in 2011 "joined the Food Recovery Challenge and created a 'Moving Towards Zero Waste' pilot program, which aimed to eliminate food waste" in several stores. It goes on to say that the program reduced food waste by 30%, primarily by recycling and composting unsalvageable waste.
The success of the pilot led to the program's implementation in all Hannaford stores, where efforts "increasingly focus on source reduction and donations of extra food to food banks and pantries. A Leadership Partner with Feeding America, Hannaford donated over 20 million pounds (over 9 million kilos) of food for hunger relief in 2015."
Further, Hannaford sends all of its damaged or expired food to a processing plant that uses anaerobic digestion to convert food waste into biogas, and thereby achieves complete elimination of food waste in 40 of its supermarkets in central and northern Maine.