Sprouts Farmers Market Details Strategy in ESG Report
PHOENIX, AZ - With the past year presenting numerous opportunities for companies to take a stance on sustainability and corporate responsibility, many across the supply chain have pivoted their strategies to meet new goals. Sprouts Farmers Market is revealing aggressive plans for its next stage of growth, recently outlining some of its investments in a 2020 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report, one of which included $100 million in COVID-19 related support.
“This report demonstrates the ‘doing well by doing good’ philosophy in which our long-term strategy is rooted and highlights some of the ways we’re improving our business while caring for our customers, team members, local communities, and the planet,” said Jack Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer. “I’m happy to share the progress we’ve made in building a business that is committed to improving the world we live in. I want to thank not only our dedicated team members, but also our supply chain partners, vendors, and growers who worked collectively to make healthy food accessible to our customers in what was truly an extraordinary year.”
Sprouts’ ESG initiatives overlap with and complement its long-term growth strategies, including creating an advantaged fresh supply chain. To accomplish this, Sprouts is working to position all stores within 250 miles of a distribution center, which will reduce food waste, lower its transportation-related carbon footprint, increase access to local farmers, and provide fresher produce to customers, all of which will strengthen the fresh, local, and organic produce assortment Sprouts is known for.
One central focus in the ESG report was Sprouts’ commitment to the environment. Between reducing refrigeration-related and carbon emissions; diverting landfill material and recovering food waste; and sourcing products responsibly, the retailer set forth ambitious goals for the future of its operations.
In terms of its social responsibility, perhaps one of Sprouts' most significant investments was in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its efforts included:
- Covering 100 percent of the costs for team member COVID testing and paying up to 4 hours of paid sick time off to receive the vaccine
- Paying more than $100 million in team member bonuses
- Creating 2,500 new jobs and promoted 7,200 team members of which 55 percent are female and 49 percent are ethnically diverse
- Delivering 475,000 hours of in-store training
- The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation awarding $1.6 million in grants and donations to programs supporting youth nutrition education and academic support, and food system equity
- Supporting an estimated 350,000 students with nutrition programs, taught virtually, during school closures
Last, but certainly not least, Sprouts outlined investments as they relate to company governance in the release. These included a focus on diversity across its Board, as well as a new risk management program with a focus on environmental and social matters, a press release stated.
In addition to its ESG, Sprouts has also published a table summary that aligns with the Food Retailers & Distributors industry standards of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). The retailer will continue to engage with stakeholders to refine the ESG issues that are most material to Sprouts and determine appropriate goals, metrics, and strategies to implement in response.
Be sure to read Sprouts’ report in full by clicking here, and keep reading ANUK for the industry’s latest and greatest.