Derek Nelson | Kum & Go
Director of Sustainability, Kum & Go
Derek grew up in a farm in northern Iowa which propelled him to always think about the environment and land conservation. He moved to Des Moines, Iowa in 2002 where he later received his bachelor’s degree in International Business and Management from Drake University. From there, he went on to obtain his MBA with a Marketing concentration from the University of Iowa.
Having love for his home state has kept him here to pursue his passions, including leading sustainability efforts for various large organizations since 2009. He has been advocating for sustainability initiatives at companies like DuPont Pioneer and now more recently at Kum & Go. Derek has a wide array of experience in program and project implementation specializing in energy efficiency, renewable energy integration, water efficiency and conservation, habitat restoration, waste reduction programming and most recently, electrical vehicle charging integration and food recovery.
Derek is happily married to his wife, Amanda, and has two small children (Tate & Nora) that make him smile and laugh each and every day. His third crumb snatcher will be born in November. He hopes his influence will continue to drive people to ‘do the right thing’ when it comes preserving our natural resources, being good environmental stewards and compassionate and caring individuals.
Kum & Go
In January 2017, Kum & Go launched its first pilot program in food rescue (recovery) at store #684 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Food rescue is the practice of gleaning edible food that would otherwise go to waste and redistributing that food to those who can use it. That pilot store location was so successful that Kum & Go launched the entire C-Springs market only three months later.
Today, Kum & Go has 187 c-store locations donating unsold food in its formal food rescue program. In 2018 alone, the company has donated more than 1 million individual products retailing at more than $3 million. This has alleviated more than 150,000 pounds from ending up in local landfills and has helped provide more than 125,000 meals to individuals and families facing food insecurity.
To have the impact and success it has, Kum & Go has relied on many great partners like the Food Bank of Iowa and Eat Greater Des Moines. It all stems from collaboration and having the willingness and compassion to care for others. Together, we can all make a difference and help fight food insecurity in our own backyards.