New technology helps retailers reduce food waste to address climate change

Feb 29, 2024
Written by WR Communications

Organic food waste accounts for the highest percentage of materials found in landfills in Washington State, and landfills are the third largest source of human-related methane emissions in the US. Many states have set policy goals to address this issue. Policies aside, retailers including Target, Safeway, and CVS have had significant success toward these goals through partnering with DIVERT which uses advanced environmentally friendly processes and artificial intelligence (AI) to drive behavioral change.

DIVERT provides a wasted food diversion program to about 7,000 grocers nationally using its Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking platform to generate store-specific wasted food data monthly and relay areas of opportunity to its stores. Edible food is donated, and packaging contaminants are removed. DIVERT also utilizes an anaerobic digestion process to convert inedible food into biogas and digestate for agricultural purposes.

Data gathered from one grocery chain using DIVERT’s service generated the following measurable results to help combat food insecurity and climate change.

Since 2017:

  • Diverted 230,000 tons of food from landfills
  • Mitigated 226 million+ kg of greenhouse gases (equivalent to providing 55,500 homes with electricity for a year)
  • Produced 35 million gallons of slurry to create renewable electricity and organic fertilizers

As policymakers are increasingly concerned about AI’s implications on jobs and privacy, it is important to recognize the merits of AI in reducing food waste and climate change mitigation.



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