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How Has Kroger Progressed in Its ESG Strategy?

National retailer reports on key pillars via newly released report
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Kroger ESG Report
Kroger achieved 100% store participation in the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Food Rescue program.

The Kroger Co. has released its "2023 Environmental, Social and Governance Report," sharing progress on Kroger's ESG Strategy, Thriving Together.

The national grocer reported the following key pillar highlights from its report.


Protect and restore natural resources for a brighter future:

  • Achieved a 15.2% reduction in greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions from a 2018 baseline due to multiple factors, including incorporating more specific emissions factors for electricity consumption and reducing refrigerant emissions.
  • Improved environmental impact by reducing total food waste generated in retail stores by nearly 9% in 2022, and by more than 26% since 2017.
  • Achieved 82% waste diversion from landfill company-wide, improving from 79% in the previous year.
  • Achieved goal to source 95% of wild-caught seafood that meets established sustainability criteria.


Build more responsible and inclusive global systems:

  • Sourced 20.4 million pounds of Fair Trade Certified ingredients for Our Brands products, a 20.8% increase year over year, largely driven by transitioning Private Selection coffee to Fair Trade Certified products as part of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge and introducing new Our Brands products in produce and seafood. These purchases contributed $2.1 million in Community Development Funds, which enable farmers around the world to invest in projects like water, education, housing and health care for local communities.
  • Exceeded the roadmap milestone toward achieving a sustainable transition to a cage-free or higher-welfare egg supply, with the goal to reach 70% cage-free by 2030 (2022 milestone: 33% versus actual: 33.6%).
  • Completed a new materiality assessment aligned with principles of double materiality to identify and prioritize material ESG topics that reflect the company's potential impact on people and planet and the potential impact of ESG topics on Kroger's business.


Help billions live healthier, more sustainable lifestyles:

  • Invested more than $650 million in associate wages and training; increased the average wage for hourly store associates to more than $18, bringing the rate to more than $23.50 per hour when comprehensive benefits are included — up 28.2% since 2018.
  • Directed $336 million in charitable giving — including food and funds — to local and national nonprofit organizations; of this, $253 million focused on improving food security in communities where Kroger operates, reflecting the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste mission.
  • Rescued and donated 106 million pounds of surplus food through Kroger's Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Food Rescue program.
  • Achieved 100% store participation in the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Food Rescue program.

Since 2017, Kroger has given more than $1.3 billion to hunger relief, which includes 582 million pounds of surplus fresh food rescued and donated for a total of 3 billion meals directed to communities.

“The Kroger team firmly believes in the power of our business to serve America and expand access to affordable, fresh and healthy food," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "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."

"The progress made over the last year is a true testament to the commitment of every last associate from the front line to our merchandising, operations, supply chain teams and beyond, who are advancing our vision to create healthy communities free from hunger and waste," added Keith Dailey, Kroger's group VP of corporate affairs and chief sustainability officer. "We celebrate another year of progress and our associates who make it possible."

Serving more than 11 million customers daily through a digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons operates more than 2,200 retail stores in 34 states. The company is No. 9 on The PG 100. PG also named both companies to its Retailers of the Century list.

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