A snapshot of our environmental initiatives

Let’s start with our commitment to banning single-use plastic bags at the checkout from all New World, PAK'nSAVE and Four Square stores by the end of 2018. We actually started the conversation about bags and we’re pleased that others have joined us on the journey. Right now we are focusing on encouraging New Zealanders to remember their reusable bags, which requires some pretty major behaviour change. We’ve taken a leadership position on this with the following activity:

  • We’ve given away more than 2 million reusable bags to New Zealanders up and down the country;
  • We are the principal backers of the Bags Not campaign – see more about this initiative at bagsnot.org.nz;
  • We’ve made a wide range of reusable bags for sale – and have seen more than a 600% increase over the last 6 months;
  • For the last two years we’ve given a 5 cent rebate for customers using a reusable bag in our New World North Island stores, which has resulted in a 20% drop in usage of single-use plastic bags. We instituted this long before the recent bag debate; Just so you know what else we’re doing to look after our very special patch here’s a bit of a list of other things we’re up to:
  • We were delighted to sign up to the New Zealand Plastic Packaging Declaration – it is a great way for us to cement our commitment to reducing waste throughout our business and our communities.
  • We were the first supermarket business to introduce kerbside recyclable food trays containing 50% recycled PET; providing customers the opportunity to divert up to 100 million food trays from landfill every year. This change required the business to liaise with recyclers and Councils throughout New Zealand.
  • Trays collected at the kerbside are recycled in both New Zealand and Australia by innovative New Zealand companies like Flight Plastics. This great domestic circular economy sees Flight re-processing Foodstuffs’ rPET butchery trays into packaging used by both our Private label brands and produce suppliers, which then appear back in Foodstuffs’ stores.
  • We are also supporting the development of a circular economy for plastic by moving to specify recycled content in more of our packaging, and will work with industry partners to develop domestic markets for recovered plastics. 100% of our retail and private label packaging will be either reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025. We will encourage other companies, including all suppliers, to do the same.
  • We are rolling out ‘Project Naked’ in our selected produce departments – having developed a new way to keep fruit and veg fresh and in top notch condition without plastic using a special misting system. The plastic free produce is much appreciated by customers – and is also resulting in reduced wastage.
  • We’re working in partnership with Sea Cleaners to help clean up waterways and oceans around NZ. Check them out here at www.seacleaners.com.
  • We were also the first supermarket business to go 100% microbead free – a full year ahead of the government mandate and we’ve just announced a ban on plastic-stemmed cotton buds.
  • We are looking at alternatives for other packaging throughout the business working in conjunction with our suppliers across the board.
  • We are running a trial of BYO containers in one of our stores – for customers wanting to use them for meat and seafood.
  • We are rolling out an electric fleet of delivery vans and by the end of this year will have more than 50 EV charging stations at stores throughout NZ.
  • Stores who have signed up for our waste minimisation programme have reached 90% diversion away from landfill. There are a number of other initiatives in play – for example, reducing energy consumption in our stores by introducing new technology as we refurbish stores and build new ones.

A very quick snapshot of Community

  • Foodstuffs (through New World) is a five star sponsor of the Starship Foundation – we’ve just reached the $1 million mark in terms of donations after only 4 years of involvement.
  • Food for Thought is a school based programme which educates children (and their families) on how to make informed and therefore healthier food and beverage choices. We recently calculated that through programme involvement families had reduced their sugar intake by a staggering 50 tonnes over 10 years. We’re aiming to double this programme – all three retail brands are involved. To date 150,000 children have been through the programme
  • Foodstuffs North Island has invested in the Eat My Lunch social enterprise programme – with a view to helping them give a lunch to 25,000 children in need each day
  • And we donate the equivalent of 4 million meals to foodbanks and community providers up and down the country
  • We have committed to reducing sugar and sodium in our private label products, and relabelling all private label food products with the Health Star Rating
  • Foodstuffs South Island is a principal supporter of the Brown Bag Appeal which is a massive ‘food raiser’ for the South Islanders in need
  • They are also very substantial supporters of St John – ensuring that New Zealanders based in all southern communities have access to emergency services
  • We’re committed to providing low priced affordable groceries through PAK'nSAVE and consistently offer fantastic deals through our other supermarket brands, New World and Four Square.


A very quick snapshot of People

  • Being fair and responsible employers in our communities is essential - we’ve been in business for nearly 100 years and we’re looking forward to the next 100
  • Foodstuffs North Island has recently launched the Foodies Foundation – designed to support team members in times of need.
  • Foodstuffs South Island Charitable Trust supports both team members and their communities – they really stood up following the Christchurch Earthquakes but they consistently back New Zealanders and their desire to be well, happy and prosperous
  • We have approximately 30,000 employees in New Zealand and sustain thousands of businesses who supply their goods and services to us

Here's what some of our suppliers are doing

Pernod Ricard Winemakers New Zealand


Asaleo Care


Villa Maria

SAY BAGS NOT to single-use plastic bags

Let’s start with our commitment to banning single-use plastic bags at the checkout from all New World, PAK'nSAVE and Four Square stores by the end of 2018. We actually started the conversation about bags and we’re pleased that others have joined us on the journey. Right now we are focusing on encouraging New Zealanders to remember their reusable bags, which requires some pretty major behaviour change.


Ok New Zealand - let's get there together

New World is committed to reducing the impact of plastic waste in our environment – and the BagVote campaign was just the start.  


New World and SEACLEANERS are joining forces

New World and SEACLEANERS are joining forces to help clean up our waterways! 


We're now microbead free

As of 1 July 2017 there are no longer any products in our New World stores containing microbeads! 


Recycling soft plastic

Reduce, reuse and recycle – that’s the best way to reduce our impact on the environment. October 2015 saw the start of soft plastic packaging recycling at stores for the first time in New Zealand and it’s only getting bigger!


Store design 

The best way to reduce a stores environmental impact throughout its life is to get the design right at the beginning.


Energy efficiency

To reduce our footprint and demand on the network, energy efficiency is a priority item in the design of new stores and the refurbishment of existing ones.


Climate change and carbon emissions

Together with using more efficient technologies, all new store construction and major refurbishments over the last 2 years have had natural refrigeration systems installed. These new systems use CO2 rather than synthetic gases, reducing refrigeration related Green House Gas emissions by 99% resulting in the overall carbon footprint for the store shrinking by 45%.


Water conservation

All new stores are designed to minimise water use and wastage in accordance with the NZ Building Code and any applicable Council bylaws.


Waste Minimisation and Recycling

The new Waste Minimisation Plan for supermarkets has proved a great success with 115 stores transitioned across to the new arrangements by 2017.


Certificate and sourcing

Environmental Choice is the official environmental label in New Zealand. The ECNZ eco-label offers strong proof of environmental performance. A large range of EC certified products are available in Foodstuffs stores, from toiletry products and paper products through to cleaners and detergents.