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The Kroger Co. has published its seventh annual sustainability report and committed to moving retail locations toward "zero waste" and sourcing 100 percent certified sustainable palm oil.
The grocer is:
• Moving toward the EPA's Zero Waste threshold of 90 percent in all Kroger retail locations. To get there, Kroger will increase the diversion rate to 65 percent for all stores by the end of 2013, and to 70 percent by the end of 2015. Today, the company diverts 58 percent of waste.
• Committed to sourcing 100 percent certified sustainable palm oil by the end of 2015. Kroger is working with supplier partners to transition out of unsustainable palm oil, to help prevent the loss of critical habitats, and support the protection of high conservation value forests.
"For 130 years, Kroger has aimed to serve each individual customer, every day, and to be good stewards of our communities and the environment," said David Dillon, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "Our sustainability progress today is part of this proud heritage, thanks to more than 343,000 associates who are helping make each community we serve a better place to live."
Highlights of 2012 Sustainability Progress
Kroger is Feeding the Hungry. Kroger's number one community priority is to support organizations that bring food and hope to our hungry neighbors. A founding partner of Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger agency, Kroger worked with more than 80 local food banks in 2012 to donate the equivalent of 200 million meals.
Helping Customers Support the Causes They Care About. In 2012, the Kroger family of stores provided $49 million to more than 30,000 schools and charitable organizations participating in Community Rewards, a sales-based community fundraising program that enables shoppers to select a cause Kroger should support.
One of the Safest Companies in America. Kroger's overall accident rate has been reduced by 76.3 percent since 1995. In 2012, 782 retail locations, nine manufacturing plants and one distribution center went the entire year without a recordable accident.
Kroger is Reducing its Carbon Footprint. Kroger's aggressive work to reduce energy, the implementation of a refrigerant management plan and improved fleet productivity has led to a 4.8 percent reduction in overall carbon footprint – even as the company grows in size and sales.
Reducing Energy Consumption. Since 2000, Kroger has reduced overall energy consumption in stores by 32.7 percent. In total, Kroger facilities have saved more than 2.48 billion kWh -- that is enough electricity to power every single family home in Columbus, Ohio, for one year.
Improving Transportation Efficiency. Kroger has increased its fleet efficiency by 33.1 percent since 2008 and is on track to meet their goal of improved fleet efficiency by 40 percent by 2014. The company's store delivery fleet includes 2,700 tractors and 10,000 trailers and makes almost 5,400 deliveries every day.
Kroger is Growing Jobs. Kroger has created more than 33,000 jobs since 2007.
Promoting Supplier Diversity. Since 2006, Kroger has spent more than $1 billion annually with minority-owned and women-owned business enterprises. Kroger is a member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber's Million Dollar Club.
Investing in Underserved Communities. In the past five years, Kroger has spent more than $1 billion on new grocery stores and remodels in low-income census tracts.
Cincinnati-based Kroger operates 2,419 supermarkets and multidepartment stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's.