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The Kroger Co. continues to meet annual sustainability benchmarks, including reducing in-store energy consumption by 30 percent since 2000, the company reports in its fifth annual sustainability report.
"Kroger associates have worked hard to integrate sustainable practices into our everyday business operations,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s president and COO. “ In 2010, Kroger stores saved enough energy to power the city of Fort Worth for a full year. We sent less waste to landfills, recycled more plastic and provided our customers with 5 million more reusable bags, all while Kroger transported and sold more products than ever before. At Kroger, we are committed to making the world a better place. And we’re just getting started.”
Kroger made significant progress in four priority areas: the environment, food and products, the health and wellness of customers and associates, and community engagement.
Some highlights of Kroger’s sustainability progress in 2010:
Saving energy: Kroger stores reduced overall energy consumption by 30% since 2000. That's enough electricity to power every single-family home in Fort Worth, Texas, for one year. Company-wide, including all facilities, Kroger has saved more than 2.2 billion kilowatt hours, which equals 1.41 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. That equates to taking more than 275,000 cars off roads for one year. Kroger completed its first wind energy project. Two wind turbines installed at Turkey Hill Dairy in Lancaster, Pa., will supply 25% of the dairy’s annual electricity needs. That will be enough power to produce 6 million gallons of ice cream for one year.
Reducing waste: Kroger’s manufacturing plants reduced the amount of waste sent to landfills by 30% since 2009 – a 22 million pound reduction. Improved bagging techniques and increased use of reusable bags saved an additional 159 million plastic bags. Kroger sold and provided customers with more than five million reusable bags, an average of 14,000 per day. Kroger stores, plants and distribution centers recycled more than 1.2 billion pounds of corrugated cardboard and paper. In partnership with customers, Kroger recycled 26 million pounds of plastic, a 180% increase in plastic recycling since 2007.
Fighting hunger: Kroger’s ongoing hunger relief efforts provided the equivalent of 125 million meals to local families in 2010.
Sourcing sustainable seafood: Kroger is well on the way to meet its goal of sourcing 100% of the top 20 wild-caught species from fisheries that are Marine Stewardship Council certified, in MSC full assessment, or engaged in a World Wildlife Fund fishery improvement project by the year 2015. Today, 56% of Kroger’s top 20 wild-caught fresh and frozen species are sourced from fisheries meeting these standards.
Cincinnati-based Kroger operates 2,449 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.