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Food Lion, Hannaford Make Sustainability Progress

Delhaize Group, the Brussels-based parent company of Food Lion and Hannaford Supermarkets, has released its 2014 sustainability progress report, in which the initiatives underway at its U.S. banners were highlighted.

Key 2014 Food Lion sustainability achievements cited in the report include:

  • The pilot of a zero-waste program to accelerate waste reduction. The program launched with 50 stores in 2014 and plans to reach almost 200 by the end of 2015. Through the initiative, waste is diverted from landfills and more materials are recycled, local food donations are increased, and food that isn’t donated is provided for composting or other recycling methods.
  • Improved sustainability of private-brand products, including more than 50 percent of the products featuring nutritional information on the front of their packages; 35 percent having at least one Guiding Star, the company's (and Hannaford's) nutrition guidance system; and solid progress toward using 100 percent traceable, deforestation-free palm oil in private-brand foods.
  • The unveiling of an industry-leading sustainable seafood policy encompassing more than 1,000 fresh, frozen, canned and packaged seafood products.
  • The launch of Food Lion Feeds, a community relations platform focused on helping to eliminate hunger in local communities, through which the company has pledged to provide 500 million meals to individuals and families in need by the end of 2020. In 2014, Food Lion donated almost 62 million meals and will donate another 75 million in 2015.

"Food Lion has a strong commitment to sustainability in all that we do," said Meg Ham, president of the Salisbury, N.C.-based banner, which has more than 1,100 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. "As one of the nation's largest grocers, Food Lion has certified more stores through Energy Star in its history than any other supermarket retailer. In addition, we have recycled nearly 120,000 tons of plastic, paper and cardboard from our stores in partnership with our customers, and we took a great step in giving back to our communities through our Food Lion Feeds program announced last year. While this is great progress toward [Delhaize's goal of] becoming SuperGood, we know there is much more we can do, and we are eager to continue delivering on our Sustainability 2020 goals to help ensure our communities are sustainable for many years to come."

As noted in the report, the sustainability achievements of Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford, which operates 186 stores in Maine, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, were as follows:

  • Being the first grocery chain to receive Grocery Stewardship Certifications from the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, in Massachusetts, at all of its stores, based on its zero-waste attainments, as well as its energy and water efficiency. Earning the certification required each store to meet 200 criteria related to environmental practices.
  • Working with the Charlottesville, Va.-based Sustainable Packaging Coalition to improve the recyclability of private-brand packaging, and, in common with sister banner Food Lion, improving the traceability of the palm oil used in its products. To reach this goal, Hannaford is purchasing "Green Palm" certificates to move toward the company's 2020 goal of using only traceable and deforestation-free palm oil.
  • Extending its partnership with Cooking Matters, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that helps people in underserved areas find nutritious, affordable food and use those ingredients to prepare healthy meals. The initiative helped more than 2,500 low-income people in Hannaford’s New England market area.

Delhaize's full report, along with the company's Sustainability 2020 goals, is available online.

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