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Sustainability leadership

New World is on a journey towards a more sustainable tomorrow. 

Looking after this wonderful place we call home is so important. Together with our team, suppliers, and customers, we’re doing our best to make New Zealand a better place for future generations.

New World is on a mission to remove all the single use plastic packaging we provide in our stores by 2025.

We’ve come a long way, single use plastic bags are gone from checkout, our meat trays are recyclable, plastic stemmed cotton buds and microbeads are banished! Our next big focus is removing single use plastic bags from our stores’ produce departments which could potentially save up to 109 million single-use produce bags from going into landfill every year.

Find out more here

New World's mission to remove single use plastic packaging

CEO of Foodstuffs South Island, Steve Anderson, talks to sustainability reporter, Belinda Innes, on New World's mission to remove all the single use plastic packaging we provide in our stores by 2025.

New World’s reusable produce bag trial

Customers at New World Durham Street are helping us to fast-forward our mission to get rid of single use plastic produce bags in 2023 by running a trail of reusable alternatives. See what they’ve been up to in the video.

Fruit and vegetable plastic reduction

Retail support manager at Foodstuffs, Glen Stevenson, talks to sustainability reporter, Belinda Innes, on what New World are doing to reduce plastic packaging in the fruit and veg department and explains some of the challenges ahead.

Sustainable packaging - reduce, reuse, recycle and compost

We want to see less plastic in our stores and supply chain. That’s why in June 2018 we signed on to the NZ Plastic Packaging Declaration. By 2025 all our Private Label and retail packaging will be recyclable, reusable or compostable. We’re also working to phase out ‘problematic’ plastic packaging. You’ll have seen some of our hard work in action – from introducing Bring Your Own Containers at delis and serve-overs, to saying ‘goodbye’ to microbeads before they were banned, plastic cotton buds and single-use plastic bags.

The world has been relying on plastic for a long time, too long. So we created our 10 packaging principles to guide what “good” looks like in our business, and we share them actively with our suppliers.


Our 10 packaging principles
1. Remove unnecessary packaging 2. Reduce packaging weight by design
3. Design for re-use 4. Move to fibre based renewable materials
5. Prioritise clear plastic Type 1 and Type 2 6. Specify post-consumer recycled content
7. Use only home compostable bioplastics 8. Avoid hazardous materials
9. Educate consumers 10. Communicate expectations to suppliers


Our Food in the Nude produce sections mean you’ll be seeing a lot less plastic at 36 New Worlds in the South Island, with more to come!


New World sustainability milestones

Packaging sustainability, waste minimisation and carbon reduction - check what we've been up to since 2012.

Climate change

At New World, we’re committed to doing our part to reduce our operational carbon emissions. We’ve signed on to the Climate Leaders Coalition and are actively working to reduce our emissions in support of New Zealand’s zero carbon ambitions.  Our Low Carbon transition strategy is achieving this through: 

  • Reducing our store-based emissions by transitioning all our stores to low emission natural refrigeration systems.
  • Operating 29 zero emission electric store delivery vans.
  • Introducing three 100% electric heavy goods vehicles, transporting goods from warehouses to stores.
  • Reducing mileage, fuel and emissions by using a GPS routing system for our transport routes. 
  • Consolidating freight deliveries so that we have less empty trucks on the road. 
  • Leading the roll out electric vehicle fast charging stations for customers with electric vehicles. We’re proud to have the largest fast charging network in New Zealand! 
  • Leading on solar – New World’s support centre and primary distribution centre is moving to a new site at Auckland Airport. This new complex will have the largest solar array in New Zealand.

  • Waste minimisation and recycling

    We have been running an award-winning Waste Minimisation Programme in our stores since 2014. We divert approximately 85% of our waste away from landfill and New World stores are committed to ensure good food doesn’t go to waste.

    Our Waste Minimisation Programme encourages our stores to focus on reducing waste in the first place, reuse waste if possible, or recycle with landfill a last resort. Thanks to the programme, over 3,000 tonnes of waste is diverted from landfill every month! Highlights have included:

  • We’ve reduced plastic use by 205 tonnes every year by changing our pallet wrap at distribution centres to Nanowrap which is a third lighter than other plastic wraps.
  • Eliminating 15 million cardboard boxes from our supply chain by introducing reusable crates in our North and South Island distribution centres. 

    We’re committed to zero food waste

    As part of the programme, our stores proudly partner with Food Rescue organisations nationwide so that safe and edible food go to at-risk and vulnerable New Zealanders, not landfill. This not only significantly reduces waste, it feeds those most in need – the equivalent of 4.2 million meals a year from New World stores.

    Little changes make a big difference – here’s how you can help reduce your food waste at home.