OPERATIONS

Kroger includes water conservation in 2014 sustainability goals

BY Dan Berthiaume

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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OPERATIONS

NRF hires senior policy counsel; names VP of government relations

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – The National Retail Federation (NRF) has hired Paul G. Martino as VP and senior policy counsel, and promoted Beth Provenzano to VP for federal government relations. Martino and Provenzano will work with the NRF Government Relations Department and focus on emerging public policy priorities, including data security, payments, mobile and e-commerce, privacy and patent reform.

Martino joins NRF from the Washington office of the national law firm Alston & Bird LLP, where he served as a partner and co-chair of the firm’s Privacy and Data Security practice. He has worked with the retail community as a consultant to NRF on a number of retail industry issues since 2008. Before joining the firm, Martino served as majority counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee and principal advisor on privacy and e-commerce to its Chairman, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona.

Provenzano has been with NRF since 2011. She has been leading the retail industry’s efforts on patent litigation reform and continues to play a role in the debate over swipe fees. Before joining NRF, she served as deputy chief of staff for the Office of the Secretary of the Senate and staffed Senators John Rockefeller, D-West Virginia, and Bob Graham, D-Florida.

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Safeway releases sustainability report

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pleasanton, Calif. – Safeway has released its sixth annual sustainability report, informed by the Global Reporting Initiative G3 Guidelines. The online report, titled "Heart of Safeway," includes 2013 performance highlights such as hiring 1,833 military veterans and scoring 100% in the Human Rights Campaign Buyer’s Guide and Corporate Equality Index

Other highlights include:

• Helped 65% of employees and health plan participants enrolled in the company’s Healthy Measures program to improve their cholesterol level from the previous year.

• Achieved No. 2 ranking on Greenpeace’s sustainable seafood retail scorecard.

• Continued to make progress in sourcing seafood sustainably, surpassing the 51% milestone toward having all fresh and frozen seafood responsibly caught or farmed by the end of 2015.

• Announced a sustainable sourcing policy for palm oil and a goal to source 1 million pounds of sustainable palm oil in 2014.

• Progressed toward its 2015 goal to eliminate 1 billion plastic and paper bags in its stores, announcing that it already eliminated over 300 million bags since 2011.

• Set a goal to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020 versus a 2010 baseline.

• Saved more than 75 million gallons of water across its stores.

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