Energy reduction biggest milestone for grocery giant Kroger

Sourcing strategies for seafood will be under scrutiny when the company reports its sustainable business progress next year.

Giant grocery retail company Kroger has issued the latest report on its corporate sustainability progress, including a 30 percent energy consumption reduction in the past decade.

The Cincinnati, Ohio-based company also says it is "well on its way" toward meeting the goals of its relatively new sustainable seafood sourcing policy, which it announced in April RIGHT when Greenpeace came out with its latest ranking of how the grocery companies stand on this policy.

Kroger doesn't do so well on that list (No. 15), but things might change next year. The company's new policy calls for it to eliminate shark, marlin and bluefin tuna and switch to certified sources for particularly popular wild-caught seafood by 2015. It is working with the World Wildlife Fund to achieve this.

Energy seems to be the company's biggest sustainability achievement so far. Notes Rodney McMullen, Kroger president and COO:

"In 2010, Kroger stores saved enough energy to power the city of Forth Worth for a full year. We sent less waste to landfills, recycled more plastic and provided our customers with 5 million more reusable bags -- all while Kroger transported and sold more products than ever before."

Here are some of the specifics:

  • Kroger has installed two wind turbines at Turkey Hill Dairy, which will supply approximately 25 percent of the dairy's annual electricity needs. (Or, for those who love their ice cream: enough energy to produce 6 million gallons.)
  • Over the past two years, Kroger manufacturing facilities have cut waste-to-landfill volume by 22 million pounds, or 30 percent.
  • During the past three years, Kroger increased its plastic recycling efforts -- including those conducted in partnership with customers -- by 180 percent.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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