Kroger details sustainability progress

Cincinnati The Kroger Co. has reduced its overall energy consumption more than 27% since 2000, according to the grocer’s 2010 Sustainability Report, which was recently published online.

The report details progress the chain has made in its core sustainability priorities, which include reducing its carbon footprint, especially by decreasing energy usage; eliminating and recycling waste including reducing plastic bag use; and lowering the impact of its transportation operations.

According to the report, Kroger has reduced its normalized carbon footprint by more than 5% since 2006. Its total carbon footprint has remained flat, despite growth in square footage, tonnage and sales.

Kroger found that nearly three-quarters of its carbon footprint is attributed to energy use and electricity the company purchases from utilities. Kroger's goal for 2010 is to reduce our stores' energy use by 30% from our baseline year of 2000.

Currently, Kroger's new stores will consume 25% less energy than a store built in 2000. The supermarket company is achieving this goal through several strategies, including replacing lighting with LED fixtures that use 75% less energy. By the end of 2010, LED lighting will be installed in nearly every store.

On the transportation front, Kroger's transportation efficiency (cases shipped per gallon) improved by 7% in 2009.

Safety is a core value at Kroger. As a result of safety programs that are a fundamental part of daily practices, Kroger stores, plants and distribution centers are among the safest places to work in America. Kroger has reduced accident rates by more than 70% over the past 14 years. Kroger's safety goal is zero accidents -- both at work and at home.

Kroger donated enough food to create 40 million meals to feed hungry families in the communities it serves in 2009.