The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) has published its annual Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report, highlighting significant progress in the company's sustainability initiatives,
The Cincinnati-based company's ESG Strategy, known as "Thriving Together," has made progressed in several key areas, most notably its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste program. This initiative aims to increase access to fresh, affordable food while reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions. Kroger also reached its goal of donating 3 billion meals to communities, two years ahead of schedule.
"The Kroger team firmly believes in the power of our business to serve America and expand access to affordable, fresh, and healthy food," stated Rodney McMullen, CEO and chairman. "As we reflect on the last year, I am pleased at the progress we have made toward our key environmental and social impact goals and incredibly proud of our outstanding team of associates whose dedication to ending hunger enabled us to reach a major Zero Hunger | Zero Waste milestone, donating 3 billion meals for our communities two years ahead of our stated goal."
Key highlights in the report include:
- Invested more than $650 million in associate wages and training, with the average wage for hourly store associates surpassing $18.
- Directed $336 million in charitable giving, with a focus on improving food security in communities where the company operates.
- Rescued and donated 106 million pounds of surplus food through Kroger's Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Food Rescue program.
- Achieved 100 percent store participation in the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Food Rescue program.
- Achieved a 15.2% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a 2018 baseline.
- Reduced total food waste generated in retail stores by nearly 9% in 2022, and by over 26% since 2017.
- Achieved 82% waste diversion from landfill company-wide.
- Successfully sourced 95% of wild-caught seafood meeting sustainability criteria.
- Sourced 20.4 million pounds of Fair Trade Certified ingredients for Our Brands products, contributing to Community Development Funds.
- Made progress towards a sustainable transition to a cage-free or higher-welfare egg supply, reaching 33.6 percent in 2022.
- Completed a new materiality assessment to prioritize ESG topics aligning with the company's impact on people and the planet.
To read the entire report, click here.