Kroger includes water conservation in 2014 sustainability goals

Cincinnati - The Kroger Co. has published its eighth annual sustainability report, setting its first-ever water conservation goal and providing a progress update on moving retail locations toward "zero waste" and sourcing 100% certified sustainable palm oil. Since 2000, Kroger has reduced energy consumption by nearly 35%. It has 557 Energy Star certified store locations and another 517 that are eligible.

Highlights of the report include:

Kroger is committed to reducing water consumption in supermarket locations by 5% in 2014. This is Kroger's first public water conservation goal. In 2013, Kroger manufacturing plants reduced water usage by 61 million gallons, which is equivalent to the yearly water usage of 1,455 American homes.

The company is moving toward the EPA's Zero Waste threshold of 90%, in all Kroger retail locations. To get there, Kroger will increase the diversion rate to 70% for all stores by the end of 2015. Currently, the company diverts 59% of waste.

Kroger is committed to sourcing 100% certified sustainable palm oil by the end of 2015. The company has begun the transition to certified sustainable palm oil in three food production facilities that make products containing palm oil.

"We will achieve or exceed many of our 2015 goals and have begun the process of determining key 2020 goals in many areas,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger CEO, in a statement. “We intend to push for faster and more accelerated improvement across all areas of our business, including water conservation.”

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