- Kroger has pledged to make its private label packaging more sustainable by 2030, according to the company’s latest environmental, social and governance report, which was released Monday.
- The retailer said it will try to achieve 100% recyclable, compostable or reusable packaging and reduce unnecessary packaging across its store brands within ten years. Kroger is also aiming to have at least 10% recycled packaging content across its private label portfolio.
- Kroger laid out new sustainability commitments around greenhouse gas emissions, which it wants to reduce by 30% by 2030, and deforestation, which it aims to eliminate from its product sourcing practices by 2025.
Even with the challenges of COVID-19, Kroger says it's committed to making social and environmental improvements across its stores and supply chain. Its renewed sustainability pledges will fall under Kroger’s Zero Hunger Zero Waste campaign, which is slated to run through 2025.
The new private label packaging pledge focuses on a leading business segment for Kroger. To help customers along as well as add visibility to its sustainability efforts here, the company instituted a recycling program for Simple Truth products earlier this month in partnership with Terracycle.
The report also highlights some key accomplishments for Kroger over the past year around sustainability. In 2019, Kroger reduced the amount of food waste produced by 4% and improved food waste diversion from landfills by 5%, according to the report. The company said it donated the equivalent of 493 million meals in its communities to improve food security.
Kroger also has a goal to source 100% sustainable seafood, and last year it supported 25 fishery improvement projects to make more progress on the goal.
Outside of food and environmental sustainability, Kroger has made improvements around diversity and inclusion. The company invested close to $3.4 billion last year with women-owned and minority-owned businesses, up 12% from 2018. It was also awarded a perfect score on the equality index from the Human Rights Campaign.
The company noted its health and safety investments for associates and customers during COVID-19 in the report. Kroger has invested more than $830 million this year to support employee safety and pay, food banks and nutrition access. The company phased out its $2 hourly bonus in May — a move that was followed by other retailers but has been criticized by unions and politicians as COVID-19 continues to spread across the U.S.