CINCINNATI—The Kroger Co. announced its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste efforts reduced its supermarket food waste footprint by 9% in 2018, creating measurable improvements in its retail operations and more environmentally-conscious associates.
“We know our customers, associates, stakeholders and investors care deeply about people and our planet,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO, in his letter to ESG stakeholders. “The world around us is changing too—a warming climate, global population growth, loss of biodiversity, water scarcity and more. These eco-realities affect our collective ability to feed people today and in the future.”
Kroger's progress was outlined in its 2019 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report, which highlighted its improved food waste diversion (13%), which the chain achieved in supermarket food waste diverted from landfills, moving from 27% diversion in 2017 to 40% in 2018. Kroger supermarkets have saved more than 2 billion kWh, placing the company well ahead of its 40% electricity savings goal by 2020. Plus, Kroger reduced the amount of plastic resin in Kroger’s “Our Brands” packaging by 9.1 million pounds so far—well on its way to reaching its 10-million-pound goal by 2020.
In addition, Kroger associates rescued 10% more food from its stores, plants and distribution centers—meaning 100 million pounds of wholesome, nutritious food went to feed food insecure families in America. In 2018, Kroger directed more than $328 million in charitable giving—in food and funds—to its communities. About $192 million of this amount focused on ending hunger.