Kroger Sustainability Report Reveals Substantive Gains
July 19, 2012
Kroger has achieved a great deal in a short period of time with energy consumption down, recycling and fleet efficiency up, and zero waste achieved by 19 of the company’s manufacturing plants.
“We have a robust strategy in each of these key areas (environment social and economic),” said CEO David Dillon. “However, our story is not just found in facts and figures. It also is about people, innovations, partnerships, and an on-going commitment to do more. Our approach is evolving—shaped by listening to our customers, engaging our associates and adopting new ways of doing things.”
The grocer reduced overall energy consumption in its stores by 31 percent since 2000, saving more than 2.34 billion kilowatt hours, which equals 1.47 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the company stated in its report. Using the latest technologies, including LED lighting and motion sensors, new and remodeled stores will consume 30 percent less energy than a store built in 2000, translating into significant operating costs reductions
In 2011, Kroger’s total carbon footprint fell approximately 2 percent to slightly over 6.4 million metric tons (CO2e), which decreased even as the company grew in size and sales.
A big win is that 19 of Kroger’s 39 manufacturing plants have achieved zero waste. In 2011, Kroger manufacturing plants reduced the amount of waste sent to landfills by 25.3 million pounds. “What started as a sustainable solution to ensure the highest quality of fruits and vegetables for our customers has grown into an important way for Kroger to reduce waste and improve the efficiency of our produce supply chain,” said Phil Davis, senior perishables supply chain manager.
Kroger has also increased recycling rates and reduced operating costs by better managing its waste streams; plastic recycling alone has increased by 180 percent since 2008.
Fleet efficiency also improved by 9.75 percent in the past year, and by 25.5 percent since 2008 by boosting cube efficiency, increasing miles per gallon and reducing the number of miles driven by empty trailers.
The grocer donated the equivalent of 160 million meals to local food banks through its partnership with Feeding America.
“Our many achievements from 2011 reflect that we are moving forward,” Dillon said. “We will continue to do so because our Kroger associates embrace sustainability in their everyday business practices.
GRD Views: Congratulations to Kroger on these impressive results on numerous fronts in 2011. When Dave Dillon told me last August that Kroger’s actions would speak for their commitment to sustainability, he clearly meant business. Without much fanfare, Kroger continues to gain momentum in its sustainability efforts. This is a tribute to Dillon’s leadership and the engagement of Kroger’s associates. Their progress in energy efficiency and achieving zero waste in half of the company's manufacturing facilities during the past year is a particularly impressive achievements. -- John Failla for Green Retail Decisions
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