Kroger Highlights Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Progress in Annual Sustainability Report

CINCINNATI, Sept. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), today released its annual Environmental, Social and Governance report sharing progress on Kroger’s ESG Strategy, Thriving Together.

“The Kroger team firmly believes in the power of our business to serve America and expand access to affordable, fresh and healthy food,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “As we reflect on the last year, I am pleased at the progress we have made toward our key environmental and social impact goals and incredibly proud of our outstanding team of associates whose dedication to ending hunger enabled us to reach a major Zero Hunger | Zero Waste milestone, donating 3 billion meals for our communities two years ahead of our stated goal.”

Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Milestones
Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste commitments aim to drive positive impacts for people and our planet by increasing access to fresh, affordable food; responsibly stewarding natural resources by reducing emissions, waste and food waste; and building more sustainable, equitable and resilient food, health and consumer goods systems. Since the launch of the impact plan in 2017, Kroger has given more than $1.3 billion to hunger relief, which includes 582 million pounds of surplus fresh food rescued and donated for a total of 3 billion meals directed to communities.

“The progress made over the last year is a true testament to the commitment of every last associate from the frontline to our merchandising, operations, supply chain teams and beyond, who are advancing our vision to create healthy communities free from hunger and waste,” said Keith Dailey, Kroger’s group vice president of corporate affairs and chief sustainability officer. “We celebrate another year of progress and our associates who make it possible.”

2022 ESG Report Highlights

People: Help billions live healthier, more sustainable lifestyles

  • Invested more than $650 million in associate wages and training; increased the average wage for hourly store associates to over $18, bringing the rate to more than $23.50 per hour when comprehensive benefits are included—up 28.2% since 2018.
  • Directed $336 million in charitable giving—including food and funds—to local and national non-profit organizations; of this, $253 million focused on improving food security in communities where we operate, reflecting the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste mission.
  • Rescued and donated 106 million pounds of surplus food through Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Food Rescue program.
  • Achieved 100% store participation in the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Food Rescue program.

Planet: Protect and restore natural resources for a brighter future

  • Achieved a 15.2% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a 2018 baseline due to multiple factors including incorporating more specific emissions factors for electricity consumption and reducing refrigerant emissions.
  • Improved environmental impact by reducing total food waste generated in retail stores by nearly 9% in 2022, and by over 26% since 2017.
  • Achieved 82% waste diversion from landfill company-wide, improving from 79% in the previous year.
  • Achieved goal to source 95% of wild-caught seafood that meets established sustainability criteria.

Systems: Build more responsible and inclusive global systems

  • Sourced 20.4M pounds of Fair Trade Certified ingredients for Our Brands products, a 20.8% increase year-over-year, largely driven by transitioning Private Selection® coffee to Fair Trade Certified products as part of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge and introducing new Our Brands products in produce and seafood. These purchases contributed $2.1 million in Community Development Funds, which enable farmers around the world to invest in projects like water, education, housing and healthcare for local communities.
  • Exceeded roadmap milestone toward achieving a sustainable transition to a cage-free or higher-welfare egg supply, with the goal to reach 70% cage-free by 2030 (2022 milestone: 33% vs. actual: 33.6%).
  • Completed a new materiality assessment aligned with principles of double materiality to identify and prioritize material ESG topics that reflect the company’s potential impact on people and our planet and the potential impact of ESG topics on Kroger’s business.

Kroger’s 2023 Report and other resources can be found at the ESG Hub, ESG Strategy: Thriving Together.

About Kroger
At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are dedicated to our Purpose: to Feed the Human Spirit. We are, across our family of companies, nearly half a million associates who serve over eleven million customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, serving America through food inspiration and uplift, and creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.

SOURCE The Kroger Co.

Originally published at–zero-waste-progress-in-annual-sustainability-report-301942036.html
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