Our founders started Upside in 2016 to build a technology that would change the world for the better. In line with Upside’s mission to help local communities thrive, we use everyday commerce to empower people and businesses, and to put us on a path to a more sustainable future for all. For each retail category supported by the Upside network, Upside is committed to mitigating any negative externalities of that specific industry. When Upside first launched with fuel merchants six years ago, we committed ourselves to offset greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by supporting global renewable energy projects. When the platform grew to include restaurants and grocery stores, we expanded our sustainability efforts to address the expansive food waste and hunger issues faced in America. Upside helps address these challenges by donating revenue from Upside restaurant and grocery transactions to food rescue non-profit organizations.
Upside has partnered with two important nonprofit organizations — Food Rescue US and MEANS Database — to support our food rescue program. Both of these organizations divert otherwise-wasted food to feed those in need by using technology to connect food donors, like restaurants or grocery stores, with food recipients, like local food banks and community kitchens. Upside has publicly pledged to donate 1% of revenue from all grocery and restaurant transactions that are made on the platform to support local food rescue efforts through these nonprofit organizations. For example, when a user makes a restaurant purchase in Minneapolis, we funnel a portion of the revenue from that transaction into funding food rescue initiatives in Minnesota specifically. When a user uses the Upside app for a food-related purchase, they can feel good about their transaction going to support their direct community even further by combating food waste.
In the past few years, Upside has become the largest food and fuel network in the United States, and our massive impact has put us in league with some of the world’s largest companies doing good. Since Upside launched our food rescue initiative in September 2021, Upside users have enabled us to rescue almost 230,000 pounds of food nationwide, with over 50,000 pounds being rescued just in May of this year. The tremendous growth of our company is visible in the growth of our food rescue initiative, which saw a 90% increase in pounds of food rescued in Q1 2022 over Q4 2021, and we expect a similar trajectory as we close out Q2 2022. These food rescue efforts alone have prevented over 690,000 pounds (over 345 metric tons) of greenhouse gasses from being emitted into the atmosphere, which brings Upside’s total to over 2 million metric tons offset to date.
“We’ve always known that our biggest platform for doing good would be through our product and with our partners. So we are constantly exploring the best ways to leverage our product, our technology, and our relationships with merchants and consumers to accelerate our impact. The massive growth that we’ve experienced as a company has allowed us to do more for our users and merchant partners, and continue to work together to expand our impact on creating a cleaner planet. By the end of 2022, we expect our contributions to rescue over 2 million pounds of food.
Our mission to help communities thrive shines through in everything we do, and our sustainability commitments will continue to evolve as we enter new industries and learn how we can have the strongest impact on our communities,”
– Wayne Lin, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer
“Upside is a vital partner in our food recovery work, supporting the connection and transportation of food donations across the country. Our platform is a tool for food recovery; food businesses can post when they have extra food available, and our site will automatically email and text nearby nonprofits serving those in need. Thanks to Upside’s partnership and support, we’ve been able to expand our food recovery network in forty-six states. Transportation is an essential piece in the food donation puzzle – oftentimes shelters, soup kitchens, food pantries, and mutual aid organizations do not have the staff capacity to pick up food donations. Upside provides funding for drivers to deliver these donations, ensuring community members in need can receive delicious food for free. We are so grateful for their partnership as we redistribute extra food in communities across the country,” - Sammie Paul, Executive Director, MEANS Database