This LA Company Wants To Be The First Climate Positive Grocer


Thrive Market is over 5 years old now. The forward-thinking grocer wanted to get healthier options to more Americans at affordable price points, while staying competitive with brick-and-mortar grocery stores. In 2020, as those stores had to deal with the new realities of shopping in person, Thrive Market was already poised for online shopping. It saw demand skyrocket. So much so, that the company has since hired 500 more staff to deal with the growing desire to shop for groceries online.

Thrive Market wants to take those profits—and momentum—to make itself the first “climate-positive grocer,” says CEO Nick Green. Acknowledging that shipping cartons around the country has its environment footprint, the LA-based company is diving into how it can reduce plastic packaging and reduce overall waste.

Green and his colleagues Jeremiah McElwee, Chief Merchandising Officer, and Karen Cate, Chief Financial Officer and Head of Operations, explain how they’ll achieve this vision.

Esha Chhabra: "Building the world’s first climate-positive grocer." What does that mean? What specific steps are pushing Thrive Market in that direction? Largely carbon offsets or something else?

Nick Green: In plain English, we are committing to not only minimize our negative environmental impact, but have a net positive effect on the climate specifically. The big message that we’re trying to send, which we hope other companies will embrace as well, is that doing less harm isn’t enough. We should all be thinking about what we can do to actually make things better - to help heal the planet after a century in which we’ve done more harm than all prior centuries combined. Specifically, at Thrive Market that means committing to going Carbon negative as a company by 2025 (right now we are carbon neutral), making our zero waste practices official with a TRUE Zero Waste certification in 2022, and going fully Plastic neutral as well by 2023.