Kroger Rolls Out 2021 Environmental, Social, and Governance Report; Rodney McMullen and Keith Dailey Discuss
CINCINNATI, OH - Shopper demand is increasingly leaning toward environmentally friendly and socially responsible products and companies. Stepping up to meet that demand is the Kroger Company, which recently released its 2021 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report, in which the retailer details its new long-term ESG strategy, aptly referred to as Thriving Together.
"As a grocery retailer, Kroger is committed to advancing positive impacts for people and our planet and to creating more resilient global systems," said Rodney McMullen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Even throughout a difficult year, our team continued to make progress on our goals while still playing a key role in providing fresh food and essential goods to our communities. Through our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social and environmental impact plan—the centerpiece of our ESG strategy—we continue to break down barriers to food access and capture the full value of food produced across the U.S. food system especially for those struggling with hunger amid an ongoing public health crisis."
This year’s ESG report for Kroger includes the retailer’s new strategy, which encompasses topics and long-term goals across three pillars: people (social), planet (environmental), and systems (governance). According to a press release, Kroger aspires to further integrate ESG performance into lines of business and develop a shared-value framework that creates economic opportunities for the company’s stakeholders.
"Our strategic approach to ESG priorities is rooted in creating business value and uplifting our associates, customers, and communities," said Keith Dailey, Group Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer. "We are acutely focused on how we will further advance our purpose to feed the human spirit as a leading retailer, employer, and community partner."
Some of Kroger’s achievements in ESG for 2020 include:
- Directed a total of $301 million in food and funds to communities, including nearly $213 million to hunger relief during a challenging year
- Decreased total carbon emissions by 11.6 percent. The company's normalized emissions (per 1,000 square feet) also declined in 2020, from 25.8 to 22.59
- Spent $4.1 billion with diverse suppliers, a 21 percent increase versus the previous year and fourth consecutive year of double-digit growth
"Reflecting on the past year, and despite the challenges of COVID-19, we are pleased to have made significant progress on our 2020 sustainability goals, and in some instances, exceeded our objectives," continued Dailey. “We are now focused on what lies ahead and progressing our ESG work through the next decade."
Looking toward the future of the company and its growth, some of Kroger’s ESG goals going forward as part of its new strategy, Thriving Together, are:
- Direct a cumulative 3 billion meals to communities by 2025
- Increase retail hourly wages sustainably
- Accomplish 30 percent cumulative reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (baseline: 2018); set a Scope 3 emissions target
- Achieve zero waste company-wide and zero retail food waste to landfills by 2025
- Increase spend with diverse suppliers to $10 billion annually by 2030
To read Kroger’s ESG report in its entirety, including more highlights and future goals, click here.
How will Kroger wield its new ESG strategy to increase market share? Keep clicking back on AndNowUKnow to find out.