Loblaw Companies Limited is partnering with the Toronto Zoo and EnerFORGE in an innovative project that turns food waste and zoo manure into energy fit for the grid.
The ZooShare Biogas Project is the first of its kind in Canada and an example of the circular economy in action. The project aims to convert 15,000. tonnes of food waste from grocery stores, restaurants and other businesses in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and 2,000 tonnes of zoo manure into enough renewable power for approximately 250 homes while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 20,000 tonnes per year.
Additionally, after the incoming material has been processed it can be spread on nearby farm fields to support the growth of food the following season.
ZooShare says the project is also a natural fit for Loblaw, in the fight to eliminate food waste. Keenly aware of the role the Canadian grocery industry plays in the issue, Tonya Lagrasta, senior director of corporate social responsibility at Loblaw, says the company has reduced the amount of food waste sent to landfill from its corporate retail operations by more than eighty per cent since 2016. Loblaw credits innovative thinking and strategic partnerships, such as these, with their success to date.
"As food retailers, we know that the grocery industry plays a significant role in the creation of food waste and that's why it's incredibly important to us to be a part of the solution," says Lagrasta. "Our priority is to make sure food ends up where it's supposed to be – on people's plates. But when that's not possible, we're proud to work with partners like ZooShare to find new and innovative opportunities for food that may have otherwise ended up in the landfill."