The 11 Areas of the Declaration of Sustainability
The 11 declarations outline the core areas of organic food and agri-
culture operations. Each declaration area is rooted in the Natural Step
Framework, which provides sustainability principles based on science
and sets a vision for sustainability, providing a road map and commit-
ment to adopting and implementing sustainability. The Natural Step
Framework is based on the four following principles:
In a sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically in-
creasing 1) concentrations of substances extracted from the earth’s
crust, 2) concentrations of substances produced by society, 3) degrada-
tion by physical means. And 4) in a sustainable society, people are not
subject to conditions that systematically undermine their capacity to
meet their needs. Out of these four principles come the 11 Declara-
tions of Sustainability:
1. Organic—We recognize the many benefits of organic farming for
the health of the soil, water resources, plant, animal and human communities. We will strive to source the food products we vend from
farms using organic methods. Furthermore, we will strive to source all
agriculturally derived products (fiber, bio-based fuels and packaging,
company meals, etc.) we use in our operations from farms and supply
sources using organic methods and offering organically grown product lines. We recognize the importance of independent third-party certification as an assurance that organic methods are being followed and
will endeavor to verify all organic claims before vending a product.
2. Distribution—We will strive to produce, pack, transport and distribute products from field to market using the most efficient means
possible with environmentally responsible renewable fuel sources. We
will systematically improve our energy efficiency, reduce our energy
consumption and reduce food-miles whenever possible.
3. Energy—We will strive to store, process, distribute and vend our
products using energy resources in the most resourceful
way possible with energy-efficiency best management
practices. We will utilize the
most environmentally responsible renewable energy opportunities whenever possible, such
as solar, wind, hydro and
4. Climate Change—We will
strive to actively reduce all production, storage, processing
and retail practices that create
the greenhouse gas emissions
Adoption of a software management tool
for their fleet has allowed UNFI to elimi-
nate 26 million driving miles annually.
Frontier Natural Products Co-Op reports on the growth of organic purchases as well as the
number of new organic products.
OrganicProduction 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
OrganicPoundsPurchased(000’s) 1,879 1,949 2,986 3,665 4.035
Organic Pounds as Total Pounds 30% 39% 56% 55% 56%
# of Certified Organic Products NA NA 1,117 1,230 1,295
that contribute to climate change.
We will measure the carbon footprint
of our operations and strive for
achieving carbon-neutrality in all of
our business practices.
5. Water—We will strive to reduce
our use of fresh water and to optimize operations so that all water use
is as efficient as possible. We will raise
awareness of regional/local water is-
sues through education and information sharing. We commit to managing
water resources with the realization
that multiple water stressors exist, creating a situation where water is an increasingly scarce resource.
6. Waste—We will strive to reduce
waste at the source and treat waste in
a way that sustains all living systems,
through reusing, donating, recycling
and composting. When necessary, we
will utilize environmentally sound disposal systems. We will continually redesign our operations so that
eventually “waste” will be eliminated
because all material will become the
raw material for new products/uses.
7. Packaging—We will strive to implement a zero-waste approach to
packaging. This will entail: 1) reducing the amount of packaging we use,
2) actively participating in the development of packaging that is reusable,
recyclable and/or biodegradable, 3)
considering packaging material contents when making all purchasing decisions and 4) collaborating with
buyers and suppliers on creative solutions that eliminate unsustainable
packaging throughout the value
SunOpta reports on their training in sustainability.