Co-op purposes report

This article was originally published in July 2020

Child's hands picking through soil

Photo courtesy of Oxbow Farms

We are once again proud to present the latest edition of PCC’s Co-op Purposes Report. The annual report shares PCC’s financial data and specifics on the successes and challenges we’ve seen while working toward our social, environmental and financial goals.

“It’s difficult to pull our gaze from the present to reflect on what now seems like a different time,” said then-CEO Cate Hardy. But PCC moved forward with publishing it as “an important record of how our co-op lived its values and made progress toward its goals.”

The new report also includes a look at the Farm to School bagged apple program, which raised $48,000 in food systems education in 2019, supporting Washington Green Schools, Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center and Green Plate Special. When it comes to children, “Exposure to the process of growing food totally changes the game,” said Tom Lively, co-founder of Organically Grown Company, PCC’s partner in organic produce and the brains behind the apple program.

Here are a few highlights from the report about PCC’s 2019 operations and our progress in the second year of working toward our ambitious five-year goals. We encourage you to read the full publication online here.

  • We achieved carbon negative store operations in 2019 by reducing our overall emissions and by purchasing carbon offsets.
  • We exceeded our five-year goal of donating 1 million meals.
  • We reduced our water use by 14% over 2017.
  • Since measuring our baseline numbers in 2017, we have opened three new stores—Ballard, Burien and West Seattle. We have added 28% more square feet, but only increased energy use by about 0.5% and natural gas use by 5%.
  • Our gross profit as a percent of sales was 39.7%, compared with 39.5% in 2018.
  • During the state legislative session, we supported 15 bills addressing critical issues, including climate change, food access and orca recovery. Our report on the need to fix organic dairy rules was entered into the federal legislative record, and PCC members and representatives showed up in person to testify before the National Organic Standards Board, voicing their support for strong organic standards.
  • PCC provided more than $300,000 in community donations and grants. Our stores supported almost 500 different nonprofit organizations.
  • While we have added 445 new organic products to our shelves since 2017, our total of 7,197 organic products is actually a 4% decrease from 2018. These numbers fluctuate as we discontinue old products and bring in new ones. Our goal is to add 1,000 new organic products by 2022.
  • In 2019 we diverted 85% of our waste from the landfill into composting, biodigestion, recycling and food donation. This is an improvement of 6% over our 2017 baseline. Our goal is to achieve zero waste (a 90% diversion rate) by 2022.

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