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Albertsons Cos. Advances 'Recipe for Change' Sustainability Framework

Grocer’s latest ESG report covers commitments to the planet, local communities, more
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
Albertsons electric truck
Albertsons is sharing the sustainability moves it made during 2022.

In its 2023 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, Albertsons Cos. is spotlighting its fight against food insecurity in local communities and sharing how it embedded sustainability practices across its operations in fiscal year 2022. The grocer has also shared the advances it has made with its Recipe for Change framework, which was originally introduced in April 2022.

As far as its commitment to the planet, Albertsons reduced carbon emissions in operations by 21% between 2019 and 2022, and also completed more than 1,100 energy efficiency projects in 2022, including installing LED lighting retrofits, doors on refrigerated cases, building management systems and more. The company also completed more than 85 refrigeration projects across its operations in 2022 and recycled more than 850 million pounds of cardboard and 27 million pounds of plastic film and bags.

[Read more: "Albertsons Cos. Customers Can Now Calculate the Healthiness of Their Purchases"]

"Our latest report further solidifies our long-standing commitment to support the thousands of communities we serve and the planet we share,” said Vivek Sankaran, CEO of Albertsons Cos. “In 2022, we made meaningful progress against our commitments, further aligning what we do with who we are as a company. We will continue to challenge ourselves to lead positive change as we build upon this momentum to create better lives, vibrant neighborhoods and a healthier planet.”

On the diversity, equity and inclusion side, Albertsons launched a company-wide inclusion index, as well as its eighth associate resource group, DiverseABILITY, which focuses on providing awareness and opportunities for people with diverse abilities, their caretakers and allies. The grocer also trained more than 15,000 leaders through “Leading with Inclusion” workshops.

Albertsons also standardized recycling communications on more than 7,000 Own Brands packaged products, leveraged artificial intelligence to accurately order products and diverted more than 321 million pounds of food and trimmings from landfills. Additionally, the company enabled 254 million meals through store food donations and the Nourishing Neighbors program, and also raised more than $40 million through the program, enabling 188 million meals in 2022.

Recipe for Change places an emphasis on four pillars, including Planet, People, Product and Community. The framework deepens the company’s commitments to reducing carbon emissions, cultivating a diverse and inclusive workforce, eliminating food waste going to landfills and reducing unnecessary plastics and packaging, as well as addressing food insecurity.

“The progress we saw in 2022 would not have been possible without the passion and dedication of our associates,” said Suzanne Long, chief sustainability and transformation officer at Albertsons Cos. “Because of them, we made meaningful changes that improve business performance while reducing our emissions, building belonging with our team members, lessening food waste going to landfill and addressing food insecurity.”

Continued Long: “In the year ahead, we plan to expand our engagement for Recipe for Change, including partnering with our vendors to drive industry change and increasing customer involvement in achieving our goals. By bringing others along on our journey, we can make change a reality.”

Last month, Albertsons exceeded Wall Street expectations in its first quarter, coming in with $24.05 billion in net sales and other revenue and a 4.9% lift in identical sales. Net income topped $417.2 million, or $0.72 per share, for the three-month period ending June 17. 

The boost in identical sales was driven by retail price inflation, growth in pharmacy and increasing digital penetration, according to Albertsons. The grocer also underscored the growing demand for private label products as price-conscious consumers expanded their purchase horizons.

Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons operates more than 2,200 retail stores in 34 states. The company is No. 9 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company as one of its Retailers of the Century.

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