CINCINNATI, June 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) continues to make significant progress on its Sustainability Agenda, the company reports in its 2010 Sustainability Report, which was recently published online.
Kroger's report includes updates in many areas, including the company's four core priorities:
- Reducing its carbon footprint, especially by decreasing energy usage;
- Eliminating and recycling waste including reducing plastic bag use;
- Lowering the impact of its transportation operations; and
- Enabling Customers to make sustainable choices.
"The Kroger team continues to make strong progress in every area of our Sustainability Agenda and we are pleased to share our progress. We also know there is much more to do and we look forward to continuing to partner with our customers, communities and associates on this important work," said Rodney McMullen, president and chief operating officer of Kroger.
Highlights of our progress:
- Kroger has reduced its normalized carbon footprint by more than 5% since 2006. Kroger's total carbon footprint has remained flat, despite growth in square footage, tonnage and sales. Kroger found that nearly three-quarters of its carbon footprint is attributed to energy use and electricity the company purchases from utilities.
- Since 2000, Kroger has reduced overall energy consumption in its stores by more than 27%. That is enough electricity to power every single family home in Memphis, Tenn. for one year. Kroger's goal for 2010 is to reduce our stores' energy use by 30% from our baseline year of 2000.
- Today, one of Kroger's new stores will consume 25% less energy than a store built in 2000. Kroger is achieving this goal through several strategies, including replacing lighting with LED fixtures. These lights use 75% less energy. By the end of 2010, LED lighting will be installed in nearly every store.
- Kroger's trucks travel millions of miles each year to deliver fresh, wholesome food to Kroger stores. In 2009, Kroger's transportation efficiency (cases shipped per gallon) improved by 7%.
- At Kroger, Less Plastic is Fantastic. With the help of associates and customers, Kroger saved more than 200 million plastic bags in 2009 through better bagging techniques and increased use of reusable bags.
- Through Kroger's Plastic Recycling Program, 22.6 million pounds of plastic were recycled from our stores and distribution centers last year. This represents a 144% increase in plastic recycling since 2007. Our goal for 2010 is to recycle more than 25 million pounds of plastic.
- Kroger customers continue to do their part by purchasing and using reusable bags. Each of these colorful bags has the potential to replace 1,000 plastic bags in its lifetime. In 2009, Kroger sold and provided nearly 7 million reusable bags in 2009 – potentially replacing about 7 billion plastic bags.
- In 2009, every Kroger manufacturing plant received full Global Food Safety Initiative (GSFI) certifications. These standards are best-in-class and require constant improvement in food safety as measured by certified third-party auditing companies.
- Safety is a core value at Kroger. As a result of safety programs that are a fundamental part of daily practices, Kroger stores, plants and distribution centers are among the safest places to work in America. Kroger has reduced accident rates by more than 70% over the past 14 years. Kroger's safety goal is zero accidents – both at work and at home.
- Kroger donated enough food to create 40 million meals to feed hungry families in the communities it serves in 2009.
Kroger, the nation's largest traditional grocery retailer, employs more than 334,000 associates who serve customers in 2,470 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's. The Company also operates 779 convenience stores, 375 fine jewelry stores, 909 supermarket fuel centers and 40 food processing plants in the U.S. Kroger, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, focuses its charitable efforts on supporting hunger relief, health and wellness initiatives, and local organizations in the communities it serves. For more information about Kroger, please visit www.kroger.com.
SOURCE The Kroger Co.