Sourcing & Buying Practices
Our goal is to source goods that are produced using humane and ecologically sound methods that don’t exploit people, animals or our environment. We prioritize local, organic, Non-GMO, fair trade and cooperatively-produced items that are minimally processed and packaged in recyclable containers.
Eliminating Food Waste
Through our partnerships with 412 Food Rescue, East End Cooperative Ministry and Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community, each year we donate over 8,000 pounds of healthy, fresh food and redistribute it to those in need. We also give to our animal friends! Animal Rescue League received 150 pounds of food scraps and trimmings in 2016.
We responsibly dispose of a variety of materials, from boxes to lightbulbs, ensuring that much of the waste generated by the Co-op does not end up in a landfill. Our recycling mix, which consists primarily of cardboard, averages 820 pounds a day. In a year, this adds up to almost 300,000 pounds of cardboard and other materials that are recycled rather than thrown away!
On average, we compost 5,075 pounds of food scraps every month. For nearly 10 years we worked with Steel City Soils, a cooperatively-managed group that recycles food and yard waste to create high quality compost, to process food waste. We currently work with Zero Waste Wranglers, a locally-operated waste hauling company that transports our organic food scrapes to a local farm dedicated to rebuilding strip mined land.
Supporting Sustainability in the Community
Through the Register Round Up program, Co-op shoppers have collectively given nearly $30,000 to organizations dedicated to supporting our local land, air and waterways. Clean Water Fund, Tree Pittsburgh, GTECH Strategies, PASA, First Waves, Pennsylvania Resources Council and Nine Mile Run Watershed Association are just a few of the groups who help us build a sustainable community.
Awards & Recognitions
We are the proud recipient of an NCG Sustainability Star in recognition of our social, environmental and local impacts, and we won third place in the small-business category of the 2016 Green Workplace Challenge, a program of Sustainable Pittsburgh and its business network, Champions for Sustainability.
Bike Friendly Business
East End Food Co-op is one of 71 certified Bike Friendly Businesses in the state of Pennsylvania. The League of American Bicyclists granted the Co-op Bronze status because of our expansive bike parking, indoor DIY repair station (located in the lobby of The Factory near the Penn Avenue entrance) and bike education and advocacy efforts.