Sobeys Issues First Sustainability Report

Sobeys, Inc. yesterday unveiled its first annual Sustainability@Sobeys report, which sets forth the Canadian grocer’s long-term sustainability strategy, including reduction targets and progress so far. The report spotlights efforts introduced by the company with the aim of bettering its environmental performance via responsible business practices.

“Our goal is to integrate a stronger sustainability mindset and performance culture within our day-to-day business activities,” noted Sobeys president and CEO Bill McEwan. “It is not an initiative separate from our core strategy; it’s a deliberate and thoughtful process that balances the needs of our business with what we must do to address environmental and social impacts across the country and our international supply chain.”

While the company is “pleased and encouraged” by what’s been accomplished to date, McEwan said that Sobeys is “committed to building upon [its] existing initiatives with the implementation of [its] long-term sustainability strategy, and to demonstrating continuous improvement year-over-year.”

Sobeys’ eco-friendly practices currently include:

--Setting targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent and total waste production by 30 percent by 2013
--Forming Sustainability Share Groups to share best practices and speed up evaluation and adoption of new technologies and solutions in warehousing, logistics and retail store operations
--Defining common measurement metrics and deploying tools for easier data capture, tracking and reporting
--Taking part in Canadian, U.S. and international industry organizations to help seek out and adopt industry-wide sustainability initiatives

“Sustainability@Sobeys is grounded with clear goals and action plans that can make a real difference in reducing our environmental impact,” said sobeys VP, retail strategy and sustainability David Smith. “We recognize that to be truly successful in reaching these goals we need to involve our customers, employees and communities in identifying and pursuing sustainability solutions that make good environmental and business sense.”

The report can be found online a

A wholly owned subsidiary of Empire Company Ltd., Stellarton, Nova Scotia-based Sobeys owns or franchises over 1,300 stores throughout Canada under such retail banners as Sobeys, IGA, Foodland, Price Chopper and Thrifty Foods.
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