Kroger highlights sustainability programs

Supermarket operator aims for "zero waste"

CINCINNATI — Kroger is hoping to achieve a government-supported "zero waste" threshold, and will be about three-quarters of the way there within two years, the supermarket operator said Wednesday.

The company said it was moving toward the Environmental Protection Agency's zero-waste threshold of having 90% of its waste diverted away from landfills at all locations, diverting 58% of its waste already and hoping to increase that to 65% by the end of the year and 70% by the end of 2015.

That commitment is part of the company's broader sustainability initiative, which also includes using 100% sustainable palm oil by the end of 2015.

"For 130 years, Kroger has aimed to serve each individual customer every day and to be good stewards of our communities and the environment," Kroger chairman and CEO David Dillon said. "Our sustainability progress today is part of this proud heritage, thanks to more than 343,000 associates who are helping make each community we serve a better place to live."

Other parts of the initiative include reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted, reducing energy consumption and improving transportation efficiency. The company is also working with such groups as Feeding America to donate to food banks, helping customers support various causes and reducing accident rates, as well as investing in underserved communities and promoting supplier diversity.

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