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Ahold, Delhaize Group Appear on Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI)

Ahold and Delhaize Group were each recognized for achievements in responsible retailing on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI). Both global retailers were named to the Food & Staples Retailing sector of the DJSI, which began in 1999 as the first global sustainability benchmark tracking the performance of the world's leading companies on economic, environmental and social criteria.

Ahold, which earned a spot on the prestigious list for the seventh consecutive year, received a top score in supply chain management and raw materials sourcing, and also performed particularly well on environmental and social criteria, which are key elements in its sustainability strategy.

Scoring 76 (out of 100) compared to the industry average of 47 and the Food & Staples Retailing sector's lead score of 77, Ahold CEO Dick Boer said the ranking demonstrates the progress that Ahold has made in recent years.

"This recognition makes me proud of Ahold and all of our 227,000 associates," noted Boer. "Responsible retailing is a fundamental ingredient of our Reshaping Retail strategy, and this proves that we are on the right track. Our place in this influential ranking only drives our ambition to be a responsible retailer."

Through its Responsible Retailing program, Ahold promises customers healthy choices and products that are made with respect for people, animals and the environment. The strategy focuses on five priority areas: healthy living, community well-being, our people, responsible products and care for the environment. Responsible Retailing is one of the six strategic pillars supporting Ahold's ambition to grow as part of its Reshaping Retail framework.

For its part, Delhaize Group, which is also one of only four retailers in the world and one of only three retailers in Europe to be included in the DJSI's Food and Staples Retailing sector, received a total score of 73, also well above the industry median score of 43. Performance of Delhaize Group was well-balanced between the three dimensions: economic, environmental and social.

"This is an outstanding achievement that reflects our ongoing commitment to be a sustainability leader in all of our markets," said Frans Muller, Delhaize Group president and CEO. "We are particularly proud that we achieved strong results in all categories, especially related to our strategic focus areas of sustainable private brand sourcing and zero waste. Our score reflects the significant efforts and investments made by the group and our 150 000 associates worldwide," continued Muller, noting that Delhaize Group's 2020 “Supergood” ambition is a key lever of its strategic framework that the company introduced last year.

"Our progress over the last year has clearly been recognized by the DJSI assessment," added Muller, who said Delhaize "moved closer to our 2020 goals, and further embedded sustainable business practices by establishing more specific and more measurable targets that help us improve and build on our sustainability performance. We thank all of our associates and business partners for their dedication and support."

As PG previously reported, the international retail conglomerates are in the process of finalizing a "merger of equals," which is valued at $10.4 billion and which is expected to be completed mid-2016.

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