Kroger Commits to Reducing GHG Emissions 30% by 2030

(Credit: Kroger)

by | Aug 18, 2020

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(Credit: Kroger)

The Kroger Co. recently released its 2020 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, saying the grocery chain will reduce GHG emissions 30% by 2030, among other goals.

Kroger’s 2020 report leads with an updated materiality assessment, outlining the ESG topics most meaningful to the company’s key stakeholders. The in-depth assessment, conducted in partnership with an external consultancy in early 2020, resulted in an updated list of priority topics.

Kroger’s 2020 ESG Report Highlights 

Among the several topics highlighted in the company’s 2020 materiality assessment, 12 emerged as the most meaningful to Kroger’s key stakeholders. These important issues shaped the content of Kroger’s annual ESG report and will continue to guide the company’s management approach in the year ahead.

Environmental

  • Food Waste
    In 2019, Kroger reduced retail food waste generated by 4% and improved food waste diversion from landfills by 5%. Since introducing Zero Hunger | Zero Waste in 2017, the company has reduced total retail food waste generated by 13% through strategic ordering best practices, item markdown programs and innovative supply chain initiatives.

    Since 2017, Kroger’s store associates have also improved food waste diversion from landfills by 18% through increased food waste recycling, including (in order of priority) animal feed, anaerobic digestion and composting programs for food that is no longer edible. The company’s goal is to achieve zero food waste by 2025.

  • Packaging
    Kroger continues to bring sustainable packaging solutions to customers through collaborative partnerships in the retail sector and beyond. In 2019, Kroger became the exclusive U.S. grocery retail partner for Loop, TerraCycle’s revolutionary reusable packaging platform.

    As part of Kroger’s commitment to phase out single-use plastic shopping bags in its stores by 2025, the company recently became the Grocery Sector Lead Partner for Closed Loop Partners’ Beyond the Bag Initiative — a multi-year collaboration across retail sectors to identify, test and implement alternatives to the traditional single-use plastic retail bag.

  • Climate Impact
    Kroger continues to manage its climate impacts through strategic investments in energy efficiency, refrigerant emissions reductions and renewable energy. In 2019, the company activated its largest solar array to date at Kroger’s automated distribution center in Paramount, Calif., and installed a 2,900-solar-panel array at La Habra Bakery in California that will offset 20% of the facility’s electricity needs.

Governance

  • Responsible Sourcing
    Kroger continues to make progress toward its goal to source 100% sustainable wild-caught and farm-raised seafood. In 2019, the company supported 25 Fishery Improvement Projects through sourcing or funding and, through its partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), increased the amount of sustainable wild-caught seafood sourced by 198% between 2010 and 2019.
  • Supply Chain Accountability
    Kroger actively manages its global supply chain through Supplier Hub, its vendor management system. The platform enables Kroger to more easily collect and maintain important information about its suppliers’ compliance with company commitments, including U.S. food safety standards, facility audit outcomes, certifications and relevant company initiatives.

    Kroger recently established a new business team to implement a more holistic approach to supplier lifecycle management. The cross-functional Supplier Solutions team is developing new ways to speed up suppliers’ “time to market” with Kroger through seamless navigation of the company’s supplier-facing portals and simplified vendor processes.

New & Updated Sustainability Commitments 

As part of the company’s 2020 ESG report, Kroger formalized and refined several sustainability commitments that align with stakeholder priorities, including:

  • Sustainable Packaging: For all Our Brands products, Kroger will improve packaging by 2030 in the following ways:
    • Complete a baseline product packaging footprint to fully understand current packaging impacts.
    • Seek to achieve 100% recyclable, compostable and/or reusable packaging for Our Brands products.
    • Increase recycled content in packaging so that the Kroger Our Brands portfolio collectively contains at least 10% recycled content in packaging.
    • Reduce unnecessary packaging.
    • Increase awareness among Kroger customers about how to properly manage Our Brands product packaging at end of life.
  • Greenhouse Gas Reduction: Kroger commits to reduce its absolute enterprise-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030, from a 2018 base year.
  • No-Deforestation Commitment: Kroger is committed to eliminating tropical deforestation in the raw materials and products it sources into Kroger Manufacturing facilities and into its fresh meat case by 2025.

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