Our values at New Leaf Community Markets have always been firmly rooted in environmental stewardship and wholesome, delicious nourishment. Since opening our first market in 1985, we’ve learned that collectively, with our customers, we can make great eco-friendly changes. These waves of change make our communities stronger and healthier. They also ripple well beyond our beautiful Central Coast bays.
Impact Report and Metrics
Our 2019 Impact Report and 2020 Impact Metrics summarizes some of the many ways we commit to the greater good of our communities and work toward a healthier world. It’s a detailed report that we’ve thankfully managed to keep succinct. With it, we take stock and shine a light on our B Corporation status along with all of the diverse actions we took in 2019 to strengthen and support our mission. From here on out, we’ll put one of these together every year. It’s simply another way for us to stay actively engaged and focused on our commitments and our beloved communities.
It requires a lot of energy to keep all of our local, peak-season goodness fresh so we take electricity usage seriously. We’re constantly surveying how to use less and we purchase a portion of our electricity through renewable energy credits. Energy-saving cooler doors keep our cold case and frozen products at optimal temperatures with minimal energy. And motion sensor lighting on all of our frozen cases dramatically cuts down on usage.
Many of our stores have been built to LEED standards and have Monterey Bay Green Business certification uniting them in green solidarity. Beyond that, there are a whole bunch of day-to-day efforts and decisions that have an impact. To start, we’ve replaced many of our ice tables and cases to lessen water usage. We also have bulk water machines in all of our stores to keep you and yours hydrated without the waste of single-use plastics.
Speaking of plastic, we’ve replaced plastic straws store-wide at all locations with eco-friendly paper ones. And all of our stores also have food scraps composting programs that divert and make use of food waste. We also eliminated single-use bottles of still water from our stores as of Earth Day, April 22, 2021. Using the power of business to empower more sustainable communities, we expect to have removed almost 70,000 single-use plastic, aluminum, fiber and glass bottles every year.
Several New Leaf Community Markets provide plates and silverware for in-store dining as opposed to landfill-destined disposables. And we’ve always encouraged customers to bring in their own reusable shopping bags from home through our Envirotokens program. If you don’t bring in a reusable shopping bag, we recommend using paper versus plastic. Reduce, reuse, recycle
Local means a lot of different things depending on who’s talking. For New Leaf Community Markets, local means that the product came from within 100 miles of our Central Coast office. So, no, southern California is not local.
We’re proud to partner up with local growers, ranchers and fishers all up and down our beautiful and bountiful Central Coast. And, the added bonus to caring for our environment by prioritizing local is, of course, that our food gets from the farm or ranch that it grew on to your table that much faster. And fresher! Read more about our sustainable seafood sourcing and partnership with FishWise here.
All New Leaf Community Markets have on-site sustainability leaders. These are our green resources. Their fresh takes on everything from reducing single-use plastics to community clean-ups solidify our dedication to the important ongoing work of keeping our stores green in practice — our choices environmentally sound and transparent.
Since 1993 Envirokens have been a way for us to celebrate one tiny but mighty sustainable choice – they add up! And we give back to our beloved community while doing so. When you shop at any New Leaf Community Markets and use reusable grocery bags, we give you a 10¢ Envirotoken per bag. You then pay that forward to local nonprofits that we support. In 2019 our goal was to encourage shopping bag reuse and increase Envirotoken donations by 20%. We far exceeded that goal with a 48% increase! Learn more about Envirotokens on our Community page.
Compost Effectively at Home
Sustainability is at the core of everything we do, and we believe that living a sustainable lifestyle should be simple and practical. Creating less food waste sounds like a big task, but at-home composting is easier than you think!
Start small by sorting your scraps and placing all food waste in your green bin for easy curbside pick-up. Once you get the hang of that, branch out and begin composting yard trimmings, select paper products and even certain fabrics. Being intentional about meal planning, using produce scraps for cooking soups and stocks and converting to a plastic-free kitchen are all effective ways you can go from disposable to compostable.
Learn more about the Do’s and Don’ts of composting at home with our helpful guide. Together, we truly can build a less wasteful world.
We give year-round to local food banks, food pantries and gleaning partners to help reduce food waste and nourish our communities with close-to-the-source, delicious food. Learn more about the work we do to fight hunger on our Community Page. In 2019 our goal was to increase our New Leaf Community Markets donations to local hunger relief organizations by 10%. We went above and beyond that goal with a 73% increase! We couldn’t do any of this without the support of you, our valued and conscientious customers.