Corporate Social Responsibility

  • ABOUT
  • PEOPLE
  • PLANET
  • PRODUCTS

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

At US Foods®, we focus on innovative products that help keep restaurant operators ahead of diner demand, and services that help them run their operations. Our goal is to help independent restaurants make it, which includes doing our part in serving the communities where we live and work.

Our commitment to providing sustainably sourced products, caring for people and protecting the environment exemplifies our approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). We invite you to review our efforts and progress in the areas of People, Planet and Products.

For an at-a-glance review of our initiatives, download our Corporate Social Responsibility Review.

People

At US Foods®, we strive to make a positive difference in the lives of our employees and in the communities we serve.

Food Donation image
May 2018 – Hundreds of US Foods employees ‘Spring into Service,’ packing more than 83,500 meals and donating nearly 330 hours of service to various organizations fighting hunger around the Chicagoland area.

IN OUR WORKPLACE

Our success relies upon a diverse and dynamic workplace where employees can grow and thrive.

DEVELOPING OUR EMPLOYEES

Through training, mentoring and on-the-job development, we help our employees learn and grow. Our signature development programs include Gateway to Leadership for new people managers, and Aspire to Lead for high-potential leaders.

  • 100% of employees provided with annual Code of Conduct training
  • 700 managers enrolled in Gateway to Leadership in 2018

EMBRACING INCLUSION

Our Code of Conduct guides our decisions and behaviors in the workplace. In 2018, we rolled out our Respectful Workplace training with 1,200 of our senior leaders, to promote respectful communication and foster an inclusive environment. We’re also launching company-sponsored Employee Resource Groups to promote diversity and inclusion, further personal and professional development, and strengthen networking among colleagues. Lastly, we’re proud to be a long-standing supporter of the Women’s Foodservice Forum, which aims to accelerate the advancement of women leaders.

WOMEN’S FOODSERVICE FORUM (WFF)

  • 600+ US Foods women have participated since 2010
  • US Foods was recognized with the WFF Pioneer Award for participation in McKinsey’s 2017 Women in the Workplace in the Food Industry study

DRIVING SAFELY

US Foods employs rigorous safety practices for our nearly 7,000 drivers, including a partnership with SambaSafety® that monitors our driving records more frequently than is required
 by the U.S. Department of Transportation. We also employ the Lytx DriveCam® video safety program to capture correctable behaviors by drivers and inform coaching and counseling responses.

  • 100% of our active drivers have completed defensive driving training based on the principles of
    “See-Think-Do.”

IN OUR COMMUNITIES

We are privileged to be able to give back to the communities in which we live and work – empowering people with both nourishment and opportunity. Our philanthropy and employee volunteerism efforts focus on hunger relief and culinary education for underserved people.

DONATING AND VOLUNTEERING

More than 40 million Americans struggle with hunger, according to Feeding America®. That’s why, as a Feeding America Leadership Partner, US Foods supports food banks and other related nonprofits through product and financial contributions. Since 2013, US Foods has donated 85M+ pounds of food, and our employees also generously volunteer their time at food banks and other organizations. In May 2018, hundreds of US Foods employees participated in our first annual Spring into Service campaign, packing more than 80,000 meals and donating nearly 330 hours to fight hunger in Chicagoland.

  • 14M+ total pounds of food donated in 2017
  • ~12M total meals donated in 2017
  • 70+ food banks supported in 2017
  • $2M in food to support relief efforts following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in 2017

TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION OF CULINARIANS:
US FOODS SCHOLARS


Launched in 2017, our US Foods Scholars program addresses two pressing needs: providing economic opportunity to disadvantaged youth, and helping tackle the talent shortage facing the restaurant industry. The program provides individual awards of up to $20,000 in financial support and professional development to outstanding underserved students seeking to achieve their dreams in the culinary arts. In August 2018, we named our first six US Foods Scholars. Learn more about these future culinary professionals here.

  • 14 US Foods Scholars to be named by December 2018
  • $280K in scholarship funding offered to date

SUPPLIER DIVERSITY

We strive to source our products from a diverse supplier base to reflect the customers and communities we serve.

  • $450M spent in 2017 with woman- or minority-owned businesses
  • 260+ woman- or minority-owned supplier partnerships

PLANET

We’re continually improving the efficiency of our facilities and fleet, reducing our environmental footprint.

Safeguarding the Environment

IN OUR FACILITIES

Our distribution centers require significant amounts of energy to store, refrigerate and manage our vast portfolio of products. We work diligently to reduce the energy intensity of our business (measured in kilowatt hours per case shipped) and have achieved more than a 10% improvement in our broadline business since 2015.

US Foods® currently operates three Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver-certified facilities, with additional locations in progress. LEED-certified buildings have been shown to lower environmental impact and operating costs, while providing a healthier working environment for employees.

Solar arrays have been installed on six of our distribution centers, including an 8.4-megawatt solar installation in Perth Amboy, New Jersey – one of the largest in the state.

  • 13M+ kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity are generated annually from our solar installations

ABOUT OUR FLEET

Delivering products by truck is core to our business. We’re optimizing our routing to reduce miles driven and rightsizing our vehicles by route type to improve transportation efficiency.

  • 8% reduction in gallons of fuel used per case delivered in 2017*
  • ~8% reduction in Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions intensity in 2017**

Additional fleet enhancements include the installation of SmartWay verified tires and tire inflation systems that help with fuel efficiency, as well as trailer skirts that help with wind resistance. Extended oil drain schedules reduce oil use and create less oil waste, and the utilization of lighter weight oil in our vehicles helps improve fuel economy.

As we continue to update and add to our fleet, we have selected new vehicle models that feature an aerodynamic design for better fuel efficiency, and engines that run at a lower RPM to reduce emissions. In addition, the new vehicles include state-of-the-art diagnostics that connect to the engine and monitor performance in real time, as well as onboard computer monitoring systems that are used to report fuel economy and idle time. This data is used to drive continuous improvement and higher efficiency.

As fleet technology continues to evolve, we’re also testing new, innovative approaches, such as the 55 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles we have in our fleet today in Texas and Oklahoma City, which allow us to save fuel and reduce truck emissions.

*Base year 2015. Broadline business only.
**Base year 2015. Emissions intensity measured as lb. CO2e per case delivered. 

Products

Diners today are more interested than ever before in where their food comes from and how it’s made. US Foods® has multiple programs and policies in place to support our commitment to providing an extensive portfolio of innovative products.

Through a third-party sustainable product materiality assessment that included feedback from internal and external stakeholders, US Foods has prioritized key initiatives we believe will have the most impact.

US Foods office

RESPONSIBLE SOURCING POLICY

Our commitment to high sourcing standards begins with our Responsible Sourcing Policy, which sets forth the principles that we expect all of our suppliers to meet. This policy covers critical topics such as legal compliance, food safety, human rights, physical safety, and the environment. We ask that suppliers train their employees to understand and comply with these standards.   

Serve Good™

The cornerstone of our commitment to offering sustainable products is our Serve Good™ program, which features products that are responsibly sourced or contribute to waste reduction. These products are developed in partnership with manufacturers who share our commitment to Serve Good program standards and, where applicable, come with verification by third-party certifiers. You can learn more about Serve Good program requirements here.

  • 300+ Serve Good and Progress Check products
  • 230+ products classified as responsible disposables

Since launching the program in 2016, we’ve continued to grow our Serve Good portfolio to more than 300 food and non-food products, providing restaurant operators with a wide array of products to meet the growing demand for sustainable menu items. Products like our Rykoff Sexton® Non-GMO Canola Oil, compostable Monogram® All-Purpose Flax Towels made 100% from sustainable plant-based material, and Marine Stewardship Council-certified Beer-Battered Alaska Cod are just a few examples of how we’re helping customers bring innovative, sustainable solutions to their restaurant operations.

In 2017, US Foods was announced as the winner of KKR’s Eco-Innovation Award for our Serve Good program. Launched in 2016, KKR's Eco-Innovation Award recognizes an innovative project by one of KKR's global portfolio companies that is driving meaningful business and environmental benefits.

SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD

As the global demand for seafood continues to grow, we believe we can play an important role in supporting the long-term health of fisheries and aquaculture through the distribution of responsibly sourced seafood.  

Our Policy

We are working to continually improve the sustainability and traceability of our seafood supply chain, starting with a focus on our Exclusive Brand seafood products. The cornerstone of these efforts is our Responsibly Sourced Seafood Policy. This policy outlines measurable, timebound commitments that address all species within our Exclusive Brands seafood portfolio and each stage of our supply chain. In addition, this policy leverages our partnerships with best-in-class industry organizations at the forefront of seafood sustainability standards. 

Our Programs

As responsibly sourced seafood practices continue to vary across countries and organizations, US Foods is working to make seafood choices easier and more transparent for our customers through our Serve Good  and Progress Check programs. 

Our Serve Good program, dedicated to products that meet responsible sourcing claims and adhere to strict Serve Good packaging standards, includes seafood products that are certified sustainable to leading industry recognized standards, with chain of custody where applicable.  

  • Farmed Species carry a Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) 4 star, or have the highest level of BAP available for the species or equivalent Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) benchmarked certifications, where US Foods has the associated chain of custody certification.  

  • Wild-Caught species carry a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and MSC Chain of Custody certification, or equivalent Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) benchmarked certifications, where US Foods has the associated chain of custody certification.  

Our Progress Check program recognizes seafood products and vendors that have made significant progress towards meeting our Serve Good program standards.  

  • Wild-Caught species carry a GSSI benchmarked certification where US Foods does not have an associated chain of custody certification; or Fishery Improvement Project rated, “A, B or C” by FishSource of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP); or Low Risk as advised by FishSource of SFP. 

  • Farmed species carry BAP 1 Star, 2 Star or 3 Star recognition; or Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Certified without associated ASC Chain of Custody certification; or GSSI benchmarked certification where US Foods does not have an associated chain of custody certification; or Participant in the Aquaculture Improvement Project (AIP); or Equivalent certification or improvement projects will also be considered.  

Our Partnerships

Because ongoing dialogue is critical to supporting sustainable seafood practices, we actively participate and partner with leading organizations dedicated to informing seafood sustainability best practices. We are a founding member of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, we sit on the Board of the National Fisheries Institute; and we are an active member of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, and the first American foodservice distributor to join the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI). In 2015, US Foods was the first nationwide foodservice distributor in the United States to earn the Marine Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certification, a certification that requires, among other things, the implementation of extensive traceability procedures within our distribution centers.

We are proud of our efforts around sourcing sustainable seafood, and are committed to continually reviewing and implementing best practices across our seafood supply chain. 

PALM OIL

Given the potential environmental and social risks associated with palm oil production, we began working with our suppliers in 2017 to transition the palm and palm kernel oil used in US Foods Exclusive Brand products to responsibly sourced palm oil. Our palm oil policy lays out our commitment to source 100% of the palm or palm kernel oil used in US Foods Exclusive Brand products, through certified sustainable sources such as RSPO Mass Balance, Identity Preserved or Segregated Supply Chain or equivalent standard by December 31, 2019. If a physical supply is unavailable, RSPO Credits will be required to cover that material to support the production of CSPO.

Cage Free Eggs

US Foods is committed to providing restaurant operators with products that are responsibly sourced. In conjunction with our Serve Good program, in June 2016 we became one of the first broadline distributors to introduce a nationally available Cage Free Pasteurized Liquid Whole Egg product under a private label brand. This product, which is American Humane Certified by the American Humane Association, combines the safety of pasteurization with the humane treatment of hens raised in a cage free environment.

In July 2016, we began informing all of our key egg suppliers of our goal to source only cage free eggs by 2026. We will collaborate with our suppliers throughout this process to assess availability, affordability and customer demand.

UNPRONOUNCEABLES LIST

We recently introduced our Unpronounceables List initiative in response to growing diner demand for products with simpler, more recognizable ingredients. Our entire line of Metro Deli®, Rykoff Sexton®, Chef’s Line® and Stock Yards®* Exclusive Brand products will be produced with clean label profiles by avoiding, removing or replacing certain ingredients and food additives found on our Unpronounceables List.

SERVE LOCAL

In 2018, we launched Serve Local in select markets to better connect our customers with their local farmers, producers and/or manufacturers. Products offered through Serve Local are sourced within 400 miles from where we ship or within the state from where we ship.

FOOD SAFETY AND QUALITY

As the second-largest foodservice distributor in the United States, we take our commitment to food safety and employee food safety training very seriously. US Foods is certified to the IFS Logistics Standard, which is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). In 2014, we became the first national broadline foodservice distributor to earn this distinction – and we’re currently the only distributor using an independent assessment from the Agriculture Marketing Service branch of the United States Department of Agriculture to conduct quality checks of our canned and frozen fruits and vegetables. 


Even with all the safety precautions taken by our vendors and our company, occasional product recalls are necessary. When that happens, we are prepared with a product recall and recovery program that quickly contacts customers with accurate information about a recall and initiates product recovery. Our affected customers are contacted within 24 hours upon notification from our suppliers.

*Does not include product marketed and sold by third-party licensees.