Safeway Named Most Sustainable Seafood Grocer by Greenpeace USA for Second Consecutive Year

Company earns first ever "green" rating in the six-year history of the ranking

May 04, 2012, 13:21 ET from Safeway Inc.

PLEASANTON, Calif., May 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- For the second year in a row, Greenpeace USA has ranked Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY) number one in the U.S. on its grocery sustainability scorecard, which rates the Top 20 national grocery retailers on the sustainability of their seafood practices. In addition, Safeway was one of only two national retailers to score a green rating, the highest category of ratings that a grocer can score. This marks the first year in the six-year history of the Greenpeace scorecard that any retailer achieved a green rating.

The "Carting Away the Oceans" report and scorecard, released May 2, rates retailers' seafood policies, initiatives, product labeling/dissemination of information about products, and practices surrounding the sale of certain unsustainable or "red list" species. Greenpeace, in the introduction to the report, cited Safeway's "thorough and varying combinations of progressive policy development, public support for conservation measures, and the elimination of unsustainable seafood inventory items," as elements that make the company an "undeniable leader within the industry."

"We're proud to be an industry leader in seafood sustainability and pleased that Greenpeace recognized our efforts in its comprehensive and thoughtful analysis of seafood sourcing practices," said Phil Gibson, Group Director of Seafood at Safeway. "We will continue to engage with our suppliers to proactively initiate progressive change that can become industry-wide norms."

Safeway has not only eliminated the sale of certain "red list" seafood, but also works with suppliers on improved methods to reduce bycatch — untargeted marine life that are caught while fishing for another species. Earlier this year, the company announced that its Safeway brand skipjack (chunk-light) canned tuna will be responsibly caught using free-school purse-seine methods, rather than the conventional method of fish aggregating device (FAD) purse-seining, by the end of the year. Fishing tuna without FAD's can significantly reduce bycatch levels and other negative ecosystem impacts.  Safeway is also instituting additional specifications for responsibly sourced albacore tuna caught on longline vessels with improved fishing techniques.  Safeway brand "responsibly caught" tuna is the first brand in North America to make this important move.

The company's broad seafood sustainability initiative was developed and executed in partnership with FishWise, a Santa Cruz, CA based nonprofit that works with companies throughout the seafood supply chain to support environmentally responsible business practices. In Canada, the company is working with SeaChoice, Canada's national program for sustainable seafood developed by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, the David Suzuki Foundation, Ecology Action Center, Living Oceans Society and Sierra Club British Columbia.

Through their partnership, Safeway and FishWise have established a Sustainable Seafood Task Force that regularly assesses the company's entire supply chain and establishes resulting priorities for vendors and its own operations. Consistent communication with suppliers helps convey Safeway's commitment to sustainability, develop shared goals to improve production practices, and explore ways to establish traceability for all products.

Safeway has a Sustainable Seafood Task Force, which assesses the company's entire supply chain, and established priorities for vendors and its own operations. With assistance from FishWise, Safeway met with all of its suppliers to convey its commitment to sustainability, shared recommendations to improve production practices, and explored ways to establish traceability for all products.

To raise customer awareness, Safeway deployed to all of its stores a comprehensive brochure that outlines its commitment, plans, and actions to date, and has initiated a staff training program for seafood counter employees that was developed with FishWise. Combined with improved signage and merchandising, Safeway customers are better able to make more sustainable choices.

The Greenpeace ranking is one of many honors that Safeway has earned for its overall sustainability efforts. In the last year alone, the company has received the following recognition:

  • Named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies (WME) by the Ethisphere Institute (2012)
  • Named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America for the third year in a row, and to the Calvert Social Index for the first time
  • Named to the Fortune World's Most Admired Companies list
  • SeaWeb's 2011 Seafood Champions Award presented to Seafood Group Director Phil Gibson
  • Named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America for the third consecutive year
  • Named to the Newsweek Green Rankings for the third consecutive year
  • Listed on the Carbon Disclosure Project for the third consecutive year
  • Received the Outstanding Philanthropic Association Award: Association of Fundraising Professionals
  • Received the Waste Reduction Award Program (WRAP) award for the 13th consecutive year

Safeway is an industry leader in environmental sustainability, ethical business practices and effective community outreach.  Safeway upholds an operating philosophy that is rooted in corporate social responsibility focused on four key fundamentals: People, Products, Community, and the Planet.  These fundamentals are "The Heart of Safeway," bringing together our passion for food and serving our customers with the rapidly developing needs of our communities and our planet.


Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, based on sales. The company operates 1,678 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $43.6 billion in 2011. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY.

Contacts:   Teena Massingill, Safeway Inc., 925-467-3810,                  Matt Owens, FishWise, 831-427-1707,                  Tobias Aguirre, FishWise, 831-427-1707,

SOURCE Safeway Inc.