LETTER FROM OUR CHAIRMAN & CEO
I am pleased to share kroger's 2018 sustainability report, which reflects our environmental and corporate responsibility efforts for 2017.
As I reflect on the year, I am grateful for Kroger's remarkable Associates, who achieved incredible progress on our business strategy and sustainability journey during a year of great change for our Company and in the grocery industry.
We launched our three-year Restock Kroger plan, refined Our Purpose and Promise, advanced progress on our 2020 Sustainability Goals, and introduced Kroger’s ambitious Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact plan. These are all profoundly important to who we are and what we stand for as a Company.
During the past several months, we also more clearly assessed and articulated our commitment to sustainability through the process of preparing this report. We connected with our stakeholders to gain deeper insights into identifying and understanding our most important emerging social and environmental issues, and understanding what is most important to you as we move forward. Our materiality assessment process, as outlined here, helped prioritize our top sustainability and corporate responsibility topics, and validated the strategic priorities in our Restock Kroger plan.
Restock Kroger—our plan to redefine the food and grocery customer experience in America—includes four drivers: Redefining the Grocery Customer Experience, Partner for Customer Value, Develop Talent and Live Our Purpose. You’ll see each of these drivers reflected in the key topics in this report as our business imperatives and sustainability priorities converge.
We know that our Customers, Associates, Shareholders and other stakeholders care deeply about what companies do for their communities, for their people and for the planet. This is also true of Kroger. These shared commitments translate directly into our ability to grow the business and create shareholder value. We believe our nearly 2,800 stores are a competitive advantage because they connect us to our neighbors, and to our Communities. The Live Our Purpose pillar of Restock Kroger focuses on our responsibility as a company leading social change and helping make the communities we call home better places to live and work.
Kroger’s ambitious Zero Hunger | Zero Waste plan is our commitment to end hunger in our communities and eliminate waste across our company by 2025. We have tremendous scale—physical assets, technology, resources and incredible Associates—and a consistent track record of doing big and difficult things. These are bold goals, and we don’t have all the answers. We are working with trusted national partners like Feeding America and World Wildlife Fund to guide us along the way.
I’m pleased to share more about Zero Hunger | Zero Waste and our work so far as an example of Kroger’s leadership and commitment to sustainability and responsibility. We invite you to learn more here, and follow our journey.
As America’s grocer, we also have a broader commitment to protect people and our planet by advancing positive change in our Company and our Communities. Through our environmentally and socially responsible initiatives described here, we will see many benefits as a business, such as reducing costs and increasing revenues, managing and reducing risks and creating competitive advantage through innovation.
Our work supports:
OUR CUSTOMERS & COMMUNITIES
We are a trusted partner and neighbor in the Communities we call home, offering much more than a great shopping experience. We are redefining the Customer experience, driving innovation and giving back in ways that create positive change where we live and work.
We foster an inclusive culture of opportunity, in which Associates at all levels have paths to a better future, access to a wide range of career possibilities, and a Kroger family stretching from coast to coast. We also strive to ensure their health and safety while working with us.
We protect our planet by reducing our climate impacts, eliminating waste and food waste, and minimizing water use. We use natural resources responsibly and help our Customers make more sustainable choices.
We responsibly source and continue to expand a wide range of choices to meet our Customers’ unique needs and preferences, promoting natural, organic, healthy and wholesome options—like our own Simple Truth® products.
Our leaders and Associates are passionate about making a difference in the communities we serve, as well as protecting the planet for future generations. To provide the best possible guidance and governance for our teams, we have also formalized and refined several key commitments, including Kroger’s Sustainability Commitment, Statement on Human Rights, Responsible Sourcing Framework, Animal Welfare Policy, and a Neonicitinoids Policy.
Kroger’s sustainability and social impact plans are also consistent with and support several key United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We are particularly pleased to align our most ambitious work with Goal 2: Zero Hunger and Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.
I’m proud of the progress we’ve made so far, and I am so excited about our future. I sincerely thank our Associates for their dedicated service and commitment, and our Customers for their continued support.
We are ready and eager for the work ahead to achieve our vision of a world with Zero Hunger | Zero Waste.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
The Kroger Co.