Energy savings, waste reduction and community involvement are spotlighted in The Kroger Co.’s sixth annual sustainability report, in which the grocer details how it has met annual sustainability benchmarks.
“Kroger associates embrace sustainability in their everyday business practices,” said David B. Dillon, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “In 2011, our stores saved enough energy to power every single-family home in Columbus, Ohio, for a single year. We’re proud to have donated the equivalent of 160 million meals to local food banks through our partnership with Feeding America, placing us among the top-tier donors. We continue our commitment to help make the world a better place in a variety of ways.”
Highlights of the complete report include the following environmental and social sustainability progress in 2011:
- Kroger has saved more than 2.34 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, which equals 1.47 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. That equates to taking more than 292,000 cars off roads for one year. Today, one of Kroger's new stores will consume 30% less energy than a store built in 2000. Kroger has reduced energy consumption thanks to increased use of LED lighting, motion sensors, skylights and control systems that monitor lighting, heating and cooling and refrigeration. Kroger increased fleet efficiency by 9.75% in the past year, and by 25.5% since 2008.
- In 2011, the company’s Ralphs/Food 4 Less Division designed and built a unique resource recovery system, which is expected to convert 55,000 tons of unsold organics, annually, into renewable energy that will power its own facility. Also last year, 19 of Kroger’s 39 manufacturing plants sent “zero waste” to landfills. Kroger stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers recycled more than 1.1 billion pounds of corrugated cardboard and paper. Improved bagging techniques and increased use of reusable bags have prevented approximately 1 billion plastic bags from being used since 2008. In 2011, Kroger sold and provided customers with more than 5.3 million reusable bags, an average of 14,200 per day.
- Forbes named Kroger as the most generous company in America. Kroger’s Family of Stores donated the equivalent of 160 million meals to local food banks through our partnership with Feeding America in 2011. Together, Kroger vendors and customers raised more than $5.5 million in support of women's health and breast cancer awareness programs. Customers and vendors joined together to raise $1.5 million for the USO to support our troops and their families.
Cincinnati-based Kroger operates 2,425 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s.