Fresh Express meets sustainability goals despite industry challenges
Fresh Express is not letting global supply chain woes stand in the way of achieving its North American sustainability goals. According to Vice President Fabian Pereria, who directs sustainability efforts, the company has recently adopted the use of reduced gauge corrugate to circumvent shortages and also contribute to increased sustainability. “At Fresh Express, we are always seeking new and inventive ways to address our ongoing sustainability priorities,” he said. “And given the amount of corrugate required for our operations over time, even moderate reductions can have significant impact.”
Pereria added that Fresh Express strives to make a positive environmental impact in how the company grows, processes, packages and ships each product. For example, Fresh Express farmers use soil health best practices of no-till, crop rotation, drought resilient seeds, yield improvement, and soil and water retention along with others to conserve and build the soil ecosystem.
The company also works closely with energy providers to source more from renewal sources including the use of solar in fields to power machinery and multiple operations. At the plant level, one-third (thus far) of fluorescent bulbs have already been replaced with LED.
In transportation, Fresh Express requires contracted carrier fleets to utilize updated and fuel-efficient equipment and a majority also participate in the United States Environmental Protection Agency SmartWay program to reduce carbon emissions.
And through a companywide commitment of zero waste, Fresh Express works upstream with vendors and across all five regional manufacturing centers to reduce the amount of waste materials coming into and being generated by facilities, invests in reusable containers and executes a proactive recycling program — all designed to divert materials away from landfills and incineration.