We're Sustainability Stars!
Deep in our hearts we've always known we were sustainability stars, but now we have an award to prove it.
We recently received a Co+efficient Sustainability Star award from National Co-op Grocers (NCG) recognizing our positive environmental and community impacts.
Co+efficient, NCG’s sustainability program, measures social, environmental and local economic impacts from participating food co-ops across the country.
For the second year, NCG is awarding Co+efficient Sustainability Stars to co-ops who have completed metrics and show improvement in their sustainability programs from year to year. Of the 148 co-ops enrolled, NCG awarded 10 with the Co+efficient Sustainability Star awards. We are being recognized specifically for our community and environmental impact.
In 2016, we donated over $24,000 to area nonprofits through their Community Grants program, offered 50 Free Monday Night Lectures on a variety of health and well-being topics, and donated $25 gift cards to over 95 community organizations and projects.
Also in 2016, we diverted and recycled 81% of our discards from the landfill.
“We divert a large fraction of our waste away from the landfill. As part of that process, we separate organic matter into at least 5 different material streams,” says Sustainability Coordinator Stuart Green. “Even though this organic matter is considered "waste,” we try to maximize its intrinsic food value. Only about 5% of becomes compost, about 10% is handled as food donations, and around 85% is used as animal fodder.”
By 2030, our goal is to be a carbon neutral and zero waste facility.
More Co-op News
The funding cycle for the 2018 Co-op Community Grants for nonprofit organizations begins in February.
Every spring, for more than 20 years, we’ve been donating to area nonprofits through our Community Grant program. We are committed to creating healthy, sustainable communities and this program helps us fulfil that commitment by supporting the amazing work of local nonprofits. The Community Grant program is also the highlight of Cooperative Principle 7, Concern for Community, and is something we take to heart.
By Emile Amarotico
As we commence our lap around the sun in 2018, I wish to recognize the longstanding contributions of an amazing group of professionals. We are blessed with the dedication of eleven department managers expertly coordinating the daily flow of people, products and services that breath life into our Co-op!
Lynne (35+ years’ tenure) our Grocery Manager oversees keeping the aisles abundant with shelf stable products and coolers full of fresh perishables.
By Gwyneth Bowman, Vice President
After serving on the AFC Board for fourteen years my passion for the Co-op model has strengthened my commitment to the Cooperative Principles and Values. Of special importance is how we work together as a governing body with one voice. We are the ultimate decision-makers of our Co-op and hold a trusteeship for the benefit of our owners and community.
Like it or not, the cool weather has arrived. Whether you are heading out for a hike or enjoying a good book by the fire, the Co-op Deli has what you need to fuel your favorite fall activity. Stay warm with these comfort food recommendations from the Co-op Deli.
By Emile Amarotico
A recent visitor commented that our parking is totally inadequate to our business volume. What’s true is that we cannot create more parking due to space and municipal code constraints. Thus, the value of each available space is increasing over time. Assuming only half of Co-op shoppers use automobile parking, each space supports at least $200,000 in annual sales.
When not working on Board of Director efforts, my profession is an Interior and Building Designer. I own the Ashland Design Studio, located in the Historic Railroad District, and have a design services studio there - JulieO Design. I have been in the architectural design business my whole life; from crawling around my father's architectural studio to traveling around the world working on buildings large and small to now having created my own niche in the local building community. I took a few years off this path to own and run Tease Restaurant here in Ashland.
October is National Co-op Month, so what’s the big deal? Being a co-op is special. Yes, we know we are biased, but being a cooperative enterprise means we do business differently. We don’t have a single owner living on their private island drinking margaritas all day without a care in the world. We are owned and governed by you, our 10,000 members. We share the burden in hard times and share the benefits in the good times. We put people, the planet and our principles before profit.
By Emile Armarotico
This spring, National Co-op Grocers recognized Ashland Food Co-op as a Co+efficient Sustainability Star for our excellent sustainability efforts.
Our Sustainability Vision aims at being carbon neutral by 2030. We’ve taken a great stride toward this by installing a 39 kilowatt solar electric system on our rooftop with the capacity to generate approximately 7% of our electricity usage. The cost was partially offset by a $27,000 REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) Grant.
When we say local, we mean local. We source our local goods from within 200 miles of the store. By purchasing goods from local producers, we aim to create and maintain a healthy local economy and support family farms. What could be better than helping your community by buying local goods?
With all the local products that we offer, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But that’s exactly what we asked our staff to do. Here are some of their go-to local eats.
How often can you browse the shelf at your neighborhood grocery store, see a bottle of hand crafted, local cider and say, “Hey, I help make that!” Well, at the Co-op you can.
Many of us wait all year for this moment. We spend the winter months dreaming of a certain fuzzy stone fruit, its sweet juices dripping from our face and the buttery golden pie crust those yellow-orange slices will inhabit.
Good news! The wait is over. That local, sweet orb of sunshine has finally arrived. That’s right. Rolling Hills peaches are here!
It’s the most wonderful time of year! Yes, we know that phrase is generally reserved for the holiday season. But for us, this truly is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s OUR season of giving.
Did you know that approximately half of our landfill waste stream is composed of Deli trash? A significant part of that is “to-go” containers, which are sometimes used for dining in and don’t end up “going” very far at all.
Sustainability matters in everyday actions and we want you, our customers, to help us reduce unnecessary waste and make the most ecologically sound choices possible.