Kroger announced yesterday that the retailer’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste efforts reduced its food waste footprint – the overall food waste it produced – by 9% in 2018, creating measurable improvements in its retail operations and more environmentally-conscious associates. Kroger’s progress was outlined in its 2019 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report, also released today.
“We know our customers, associates, stakeholders and investors care deeply about people and our planet,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO, in his letter to ESG stakeholders. “The world around us is changing too — a warming climate, global population growth, loss of biodiversity, water scarcity and more. These eco-realities affect our collective ability to feed people today and in the future. They are also the force behind Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste plan. We know 40% of food produced in the U.S. is thrown out, yet one in eight people in our country are food insecure — perhaps even someone we know. Redirecting just one-third of the food wasted in the U.S. every year would more than feed those struggling with hunger.”
“Today doing the right thing for society and being environmentally sustainable are table stakes for corporations,” said Jessica Adelman, Kroger’s group vice president of corporate affairs and chief social impact officer. “That’s why we’re proud to go above and beyond with our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact plan. Our progress in each of the environmental, social and governance aspects of sustainability are a direct result of these innovative and intentional efforts.”
Kroger’s ESG report details progress in 2018 on Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact plan as well as it’s 2020 Sustainability Goals.
Private Brand Highlights include:
- Progress on Packaging and Plastics: Kroger reduced the amount of plastic resin in their private brand packaging by 9.1 million pounds so far – well on its way to reaching its 10-million-pound goal by 2020.
- Sourcing Sustainably: Kroger sourced 88% of wild-caught fresh and frozen seafood in supermarket seafood departments from certified sustainable sources. The company also purchased more than 17 million pounds of Fair Trade-certified ingredients for private brand products.
- Reduced Food Waste Footprint 9%: Kroger’s food waste generated by retail stores decreased 9%, reducing both food waste and the greenhouse gases resulting from it.
- Improved Food Waste Diversion 13%: Kroger achieved a 13% improvement in supermarket food waste diverted from landfill, moving from 27% diversion in 2017 to 40% in 2018.
- Expanded Fresh Food Rescue: Kroger associates rescued 10% more food from its stores, plants and distribution centers – that means 100 million pounds of wholesome, nutritious food went to feed food-insecure families in America.
- Supplier Inclusion: Kroger spent more than $2.6 billion with women- and minority-owned businesses in 2018.