Loblaw Meets ESG Targets Ahead of Schedule

Corporate social responsibility report highlights efforts across environmental, social and governance priorities
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Loblaw Meets ESG Targets Ahead of Schedule
Loblaw's CSR report outlines important progress on issues that matter most to stakeholders, customers and colleagues.

Canadian food retailer Loblaw Cos. Ltd. has released its 14th annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) report to highlight the company's efforts across its various environmental, social and governance (ESG) priorities.

"In spite of the many challenges of 2020, we made great progress on the items that matter most to our colleagues, customers and shareholders: We dramatically accelerated our reduction of food waste and carbon emissions, we helped formulate and introduce new global packaging standards to eliminate plastic waste, and we increased female representation in our executive ranks and succession pipelines, while expanding and improving our support for colleagues from diverse communities,” said Loblaw Chairman and President Galen G. Weston in a statement to shareholders.

This year's report provides clearer accountability by employing ESG reporting standards in line with the Global Reporting Initiative, Sustainable Accounting Standards Board and UN Sustainable Development Goals.

A few of Loblaw’s achievements outlined in its latest CSR report are:

  • Loblaw purchased enough local produce from Canadian suppliers in 2020 to achieve its 2025 goal of repatriating CAN $150 million of goods that would otherwise be purchased internationally.
  • In 2020, Loblaw helped create and became a founding member of the Canada Plastics Pact, which is part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's global Plastics Pact network. As part of its efforts to reduce plastic waste, over the previous year Loblaw eliminated 1.8 million plastic hangers, all individual plastic straws and stir sticks from in-store takeout counters, and all single-use plastic items for food sampling in corporate stores. Loblaw has committed that all its PC (President's Choice) plastic packaging will be either reusable or recyclable by 2025.
  • In 2020, Loblaw corporate and franchised stores donated more than 5 million kilograms of food to local food banks and food rescue agencies across Canada, including its most successful national holiday food drive campaign since its 2009 launch, raising CAN $2.6 million and collecting 1.1 million kilograms of food for those in need.
  • The 2030 goal of reducing Loblaw's carbon emissions from operations by 30% has been achieved. The company increased the goal to 50% by 2030.
  • The 2025 goal of reducing food waste by 50% has been achieved.

Additionally, Loblaw has partnered with the global reuse platform Loop to bring waste-free shopping to Canadian shoppers, allowing consumers to shop for products in durable packaging that's reused until the end of its life.

“As we make headway in these areas, as well as in advancing our strategy and maintaining momentum in our core business, we are pleased with our progress and motivated by what is next," said Galen.

To download a copy of the CSR report, click here

(If your company has achieved similar ESG milestones to those of Loblaw, be sure to enter the Progressive Grocer Impact Award program to be recognized for your efforts in serving others.)

Loblaw Cos. Ltd. operates more than 2,400 stores in Canada. It delivered a strong financial performance in the first quarter ended March 27, reporting revenue of CAN $11,872 million. This represented an increase of $72 million, or 0.6% when compared with the first quarter of 2020. The Brampton, Ontario-based company is No. 12 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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