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The Kroger Co. has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its efforts around sustainable food management.
Cincinnati-based Kroger participated in the EPA's 2016 Food Recovery Challenge and was named Region 5 Winner in the Grocers category.
"Kroger is a proud participant of the EPA's Food Recovery Challenge, and is honored to have the efforts of our store associates recognized," said Suzanne Lindsay-Walker, Kroger's director of sustainability. "We remain committed to our goal of meeting and exceeding the EPA's zero waste threshold in our facilities by 2020. This is just one more step as we continue to look for new opportunities to help us reach that goal."
46 Million Meals
Kroger is increasing donations and diverting food waste from landfills. In 2015, Kroger expanded its Perishable Donations Partnership across the enterprise. Through the program, 56 million pounds of fresh food – the equivalent of more than 46 million meals – was donated to local food banks. In 2016, Kroger's distribution centers launched efforts to become zero waste, too. And, 32 of the company's manufacturing facilities are zero waste.
"EPA congratulates Kroger for its national leadership in helping feed people instead of landfills," said EPA Acting Region 5 Administrator Robert A. Kaplan. "Kroger reduced its carbon footprint and helped communities by donating more than 50 million pounds of food and diverting more than 150,000 tons of food waste from landfills in just one year."
Kroger operates 2,796 retail food stores under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia.