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Safeway Inc. released its annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report yesterday, a comprehensive document designed to provide readers with a clear picture of the company's activities on a wide range of fronts, including community, people, products and planet.
"We have developed a reputation as a responsible steward of the planet and the communities we serve," said Steve Burd, chairman, president, and CEO of Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway. "Our report is an open and candid assessment of the advancements Safeway has made under the vast banner of corporate social responsibility."
The report, entitled, "The Heart of Safeway," details the company's progress in the following key areas:
--Community: In 2008 Safeway raised and donated more than $248 million to important causes. The company is one of the biggest corporate supporters of cancer research, raising more than $32 million for breast cancer and prostate cancer research in 2008 alone. The company is a top corporate sponsor for Easter Seals, raising more than $100 million over the past 22 years. In addition to Easter Seals, Safeway raises funds for Special Olympics, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and organizations that provide vocational training, physical therapy, physical fitness, autism research and services for children and adults with developmental delays. As a food retailer, Safeway is committed to hunger relief and gives more than $175 million in food to local food banks each year. The company also donated more than $22 million to local schools to support education through eScrip.
--People: Safeway, listed by Health Magazine as one of “America's Healthiest Grocery Stores,” developed a health care plan for employees focused on prevention and behavior incentives that has been praised and emulated by health care experts and other large employers. Burd founded the Coalition to Advance Healthcare Reform (CAHR), an organization of more than 60 leading employers and business leaders dedicated to advancing meaningful market-based solutions to the health care crisis. As part of Safeway's commitment to diversity, the company maintains and promotes an active and effective range of employee network groups including those serving women, Asians, African-Americans, Hispanics, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender employees.
--Products: Safeway has been recognized for developing products that meet specific health and environmental needs of its customers. O Organics, a line of premium-quality, USDA-certified organic foods, is the best-selling brand of organic products in the country. Eating Right, a line of better-for-you packaged foods and frozen entrees, highlights the products’ health attributes on the packaging in user-friendly "spot your needs" dots. In addition, Safeway helps customers focus on sustainability with the Bright Green line of environmentally friendly household products. The line includes laundry detergents made with biodegradable and naturally derived ingredients, energy-efficient light bulbs and paper products made with 100 percent recycled materials.
--Planet: Safeway is one of the largest retail purchasers of wind energy, using 90,000 megawatt hours of wind energy, enough to power all 303 Safeway retail fuel stations; all stores in San Francisco, California and Boulder, Colo.; and all company headquarters and corporate offices in northern California. The company was the first major retailer to join the Chicago Climate Exchange, the world's first and North America's only legally binding greenhouse gas allowance trading system, and the California Climate Action Registry, which commits the company to reduce its carbon footprint by 6 percent from year 2000 levels. Safeway is currently building several stores designed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards, a designation given only to buildings that meet strict standards of sustainable design, construction and operating practices. In addition, Safeway has been a major recycler for nearly 50 years and supports the global drive toward Zero Waste. In California, where Zero Waste is a goal, each of Safeway's stores typically diverts over 85 percent of its materials from landfill to disposal -- well above the current state-mandated goal of 50 percent.
"We see our pursuit of truly sustainable, responsible business practices as a work in progress, and we are committed to our ongoing journey," said Burd. "It demands that we stay current with the sciences that govern how our business consumes energy and natural resources."
Safeway's CSR report can be found on at www.Safeway.com/CSR.
Safeway operates 1,739 stores in the United States and western Canada, and had annual sales of $44.1 billion in 2008.