Kroger Co., a leading grocer based in Cincinnati, Ohio, updated its environmental, social and governance (ESG) action plan to support the company’s overall ESG strategy.
“We are living our purpose – feeding the human spirit – through Kroger’s commitments to advancing positive impacts for people and our planet and creating more resilient global systems,” said Kroger Chairman and CEO Rodney. McMullen. “We are proud to report that Kroger continues to make progress towards key ESG goals. I am especially proud of the collective effort of the Kroger team to create communities free from hunger and food waste.
As part of Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative, Kroger has, to date, directed 2.3 billion meals to communities, including $1 billion in charitable support and 500 million pounds of excess fresh food collected from Kroger stores to help eradicate the hunger.
In addition to Zero Hunger | A Zero Waste Initiative, Kroger says it is making progress towards key goals in packaging, climate impact, human capital management, human rights and animal welfare.
Kroger has completed an initial baseline packaging assessment to establish a plan to achieve its 2030 sustainable packaging goals, which include 100% recyclable, reusable and/or compostable “Our Brands” packaging by 2030. as well such as health, beauty, household items and cleaning items. Baseline results show that 40% of “Our Brands” product packaging in scope today meets the company’s definition of recyclable when measured by weight.
Related story: Kroger joins the Sustainable Packaging Coalition
Kroger has committed to setting a more aggressive greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target aligned with the requirements of the Science Based Targets (SBTi) initiative. The company’s current target for 2030 is aligned with a climate scenario well below 2°C; however, given the urgency for greater climate action, the target will be strengthened to support a 1.5°C climate scenario. Kroger will also set a new Scope 3 target for reducing supply chain emissions as part of its SBTi commitment.
The company will share a detailed project roadmap to achieve the current GHG reduction target by the end of fiscal year 2022.
Human capital management
The Kroger family of companies continues to provide accessible employment and economic advancement opportunities to more than 400,000 people across the United States. Kroger has invested an additional $1.2 billion in associate compensation and benefits since 2018, bringing the average hourly rate to over $17/hour and over $21. /hour when full benefits such as health care and pensions are included.
Kroger recently updated its Human Rights Policy to align with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The company is developing a comprehensive human rights due diligence framework and UNGP-aligned implementation roadmap. This work will continue through 2022. The company also recently launched its first human rights impact assessment.
Kroger has updated its Animal Welfare Policy and shared a detail Animal welfare update to outline progress to date and roadmaps for future steps. The company says it hopes to source 100% fresh pork from suppliers who house sows in group housing systems by 2025. It also hopes to produce 70% cage-free eggs by 2030.
“With this updated action plan, we seek to address a wide range of complex social and environmental challenges and set ambitious impact goals,” said Keith Dailey, vice president of corporate affairs and chief sustainability officer at Kroger. . “These commitments express Kroger’s aspiration to make affordable fresh food even more accessible while advancing positive impacts for our communities and the planet.”
Kroger integrates its ESG commitments into various operational workflows and develops a culture of shared values with “positive outcomes for all stakeholders,” adds Dailey.
For more information, visit Kroger’s ESG HUB, ESG strategy: Prosper together.