The Kroger Co. has unveiled its ninth annual sustainability report, available online at sustainability.kroger.com, with a focus on corporate advancement on multiple fronts that it regards as part of its desire to improve the environment, both physical and social.
In the physical store environment, Kroger stated that the company’s aggressive work in energy management has enabled it to reduce overall energy consumption in stores by 35% since 2000. As a result, Kroger has saved more than 2.3 billion kWh, the company asserted, enough electricity to power every single-family home in Charlotte, NC, for one year, and the carbon equivalent of taking 334,000 cars off the road for a year.
Kroger participates in the United States Environmental Protection Administration Energy Star program to track and assess power consumption across its retail locations, so it can benchmark building energy performance, assess energy management goals over time and identify strategic opportunities for savings. The several Kroger banners operate 675 Energy Star Certified stores, with plans to certify more facilities in the future, the company maintained.
In addition to saving energy, Kroger has been building its supply chain for organic and natural foods as well as internal efforts to expand their availability. The company’s Simple Truth organic and natural product brand achieved a milestone by reaching $1.2 billion in annual sales in 2014, within two years of its initial launch, Kroger asserted. In addition, the company has expanded sustainable sourcing by 200%, maintained its locally grown commodities program and continued looking for new partners in its Fair Trade product initiative.
Kroger views social and economic impact as an element of its sustainability program and pointed out that the company has made significant investments in feeding the hungry, women’s health initiatives, supporting service men and women and their families, local organizations and schools, and disaster relief efforts with more than $280 million contributed in Kroger’s name in 2014. Last year, the company created 25,000 jobs, Kroger related.
“This report celebrates the completion of our first set of sustainability goals, established in 2009, and begins to chart our course for the future,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “We believe reducing our environmental footprint and being a good corporate citizen is a continuous learning process. We have a strong foundation because of the commitment of our associates to serve each and every customer every day and to be good stewards of our communities and planet.”