Zero Waste

Sprouts is committed to eliminating waste and fighting hunger in our communities through a “Zero Waste” goal, a 90 percent waste diversion rate as defined by the EPA. In 2019, we repurposed more than 150 million pounds of food and other recyclables from our waste stream, resulting in an overall diversion rate of 50 percent. Here are some of the programs we have in place to help keep our planet healthy:

Food Rescue Program

From day one, each Sprouts store participates in a food waste diversion program that provides food to those in need, feed for animals and nutrients for agricultural soil.


Sprouts worker holding box full of vegetables and fruit

All groceries that are no longer fit for sale but remain perfectly edible and nutrient-rich are donated by our stores and distribution centers to local hunger relief agencies, many of which are affiliated with Feeding America. These agencies then distribute the donated food to people in need in our communities. Since the inception of the Food Rescue program in mid-2013, Sprouts has donated more than 70 million pounds of food to those less fortunate – that’s more than 58 million meals!


cattle eating vegetables and fruit

Food that is not fit for hunger relief agencies is donated as cattle feed to support local cattle ranches and dairy farms. This provides cattle with a more nutritious diet and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.


Lastly, food is donated as compost, which enriches soils with nutrients. More than 25 million pounds of food have been diverted from landfills since the start of this program in 2014.

Green Building and Non-Food Waste Recycling

As we continue to expand from coast to coast and remodel existing stores, we do so in the most responsible manner possible. We are constantly seeking opportunities to conserve energy and water, and use eco-friendly materials in our buildings to further reduce our carbon footprint. Here’s a peek at how we run our stores responsibly and sustainably:

  • In-store energy reduction program utilizing features such as night curtains, natural light harvesting and LED lighting designed to conserve resources
  • Recycled more than 91 million pounds of cardboard in 2019
  • Recycled more than 43 million plastic bags and approximately 800,000 pounds of glass, hard plastics, paper and aluminum in 2019
  • Partner with EPA SmartWay transportation carriers dedicated to increasing fuel economy in their fleets and reducing carbon emissions
  • Started pilot of battery storage systems in stores to reduce on-peak energy demand
  • Single-Stream Recycling programs in our stores (i.e., recycling of glass, aluminum, hard plastic and paper)

GreenChill Certification

“Sprouts Farmers Market continues to be an environmental leader in the supermarket industry through exceptional refrigeration management.”
Tom Land, manager of EPA’s GreenChill program, 2019

In 2009, Sprouts joined the EPA’s GreenChill program, a partnership with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the ozone layer and climate change. Currently, 87 Sprouts stores are GreenChill certified, with more expected as we continue to grow.

Exploring Green Technology

Sprouts Woodstock is the first grocery store in North America to utilize Second Nature™ CO2 Ejection refrigeration technology, the most energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly refrigeration system available in the industry. The cutting-edge technology takes up a much smaller carbon footprint, uses naturally occurring CO2 that delivers a Global Warming Potential of almost zero, saves an average of up to 10 percent energy savings each year and meets the qualifications for the EPA’s GreenChill Platinum certification.