Responsible Food Sourcing and Green Innovation: Kroger’s 2020 Plan

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Consumers are more emotionally driven about sustainable consumption of food than any other product. They increasingly want to know whether the food they are buying in the supermarket is locally grown, organic, GMO or pesticide-free. According to a survey by Cone Communications, 89 percent of American consumers consider where the product is made, and two-thirds would pay more for a local product.

Supermarket chain Kroger has published an outline detailing how it plans to become more sustainable by 2020. The company is making large commitments to increase responsible sourcing in its supply chain as well as become more conscientious in its use and protection of the natural environment.

Kroger wants to source 90 percent of all its seafood from fisheries certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or other programs recognized by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative. Additionally, the company aims to source 100 percent of its wild-caught seafood from MSC-certified fisheries.

To reduce its environmental footprint, Kroger aims to meet the EPA’s “zero waste” threshold of 90 percent diversion from landfills. The company also plans to optimize its packaging to make it more sustainable. To achieve these goals, it will source materials responsibly, increase the recyclability of its packaging, use at least 20 percent recycled content to manufacture its packaging, and reduce the amount of plastic resin used by 10 million pounds.

Other 2020 goals include reducing water consumption by five percent, reducing refrigerant leaks by nine percent, improving transportation efficiency by 20 percent, and ultimately reducing its cumulative energy consumption by 40 percent. Kroger is also joining other retailers in committing to 100 percent cage-free eggs by 2025, a promise that has recently been made by Walmart, PepsiCo, and Walt Disney Parks.

According to Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen, the company’s aim is to be a positive force for change in its communities and to drive sustainability and innovation across the supply chain. The company believes that its 2020 goals set the course for this ongoing journey.

Kroger’s sustainability plan will cover all its chains, which include its namesake stores, Ralph’s, Dillon’s, and Mariano’s, among others.

Source: Fortune

Image Credit: Flickr via Bakh2013