Kroger’s vision is a world with zero waste. To get there, we are reducing operational waste and food waste in our business. We work with our leaders and associates to reduce waste every day, and we work with other organizations to help track, report and reduce food waste across our retail stores.
In 2018, we focused on waste reduction in our stores, with a special focus on measuring and reducing food waste. We have three main focus areas:
- Reduce waste: Identify opportunities to reduce overall waste in our operations to achieve our goals. Support and promote a more circular economy.
- Measure and report food waste: Measure food waste, track progress toward goals and celebrate achievements.
- Drive innovation: Find new ideas and solutions to help reduce waste and food waste.
Through Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, we are accelerating already-strong waste reduction programs across the company. We reduce waste in our operations to improve efficiency, which has both economic and environmental benefits. Kroger set a zero-waste goal several years ago, and we continue to make progress on our journey. Our Manufacturing and Supply Chain operations are already zero waste—diverting 90%+ waste from landfills.
In 2018, Kroger achieved a waste diversion rate of 76% company-wide, a 4% increase versus the prior year. That means we kept 2 million tons of waste out of landfills last year.
Associates across the company recovered and recycled nearly 1.5 billion pounds of corrugated cardboard and over 52 million pounds of plastics last year. Using reusable plastic containers (RPCs) to ship fresh produce to our stores—160 million pounds shipped in RPCs in 2018—also reduces waste and food waste.
How we’re doing on our mission to eliminate waste across our company:
|Zero Waste Goal||Target Year||Progress|
|Establish Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Innovation Fund||2018||
Launched the Innovation Fund to support creative ideas to end food waste. Led first open call and selected our first group of grantees.
|Achieve prior goal to be a zero waste company by 2020; achieve zero food waste by 2025||2020
Achieved 76% waste diversion from landfill company-wide, up 4% from restated 2017 results. Increased total recycling, plastics recovery and food waste recycling.
Reduced Kroger’s overall food waste footprint by 9% and increased food waste diversion from landfill by 13% vs. the 2017 baseline.
Began introducing Our Brands products with standardized date labels to help customers reduce waste at home.
Measure & report food waste
We also achieved significant progress toward our goal of zero food waste. In 2018, we repeated our food waste analysis—using the World Resources Institute Food Loss and Waste Protocol. Thanks to our dedicated associates, we reduced our overall food waste generated, increased food waste diversion from landfill, and increased food waste recycling.