PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Monday announced it has been named one of the 2014 World's Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. This is the fourth time and third consecutive year that Safeway has been recognized by Ethisphere for its commitment to maintaining superior business practices. Safeway is the only U.S. large retailer to receive this distinction.
"It is an honor to be included on the prestigious WME list and to be among businesses whose principles and practices uphold the highest standards of ethics and corporate social responsibility," stated Larree Renda, Safeway EVP and chair of the Safeway Foundation. "By establishing standards that go beyond basic norms and legal requirements, Safeway and the other WME businesses foster ideals and innovations that benefit their industries and communities."
The Ethisphere Institute is an independent center of research, best practices and thought leadership that promotes best practices in corporate ethics and compliance and enables organizations to improve governance, mitigate risk and enhance relationships with employees, business partners, investors and the broad regulatory community. For the past eight years, it annually selects companies from throughout the world for its WME list.
"In today's complex global economy, it can be increasingly challenging for companies to meet performance expectations, while addressing the varying regulatory, compliance and sustainability needs across geographies and cultures," commented Tim Erblich, CEO of the Ethisphere Institute. "Global economic and social challenges from anti-corruption to security and privacy are accelerating the need for companies and organizations to embrace ethics and governance as critical business imperatives…These organizations have taken this challenge head on and recognize that leading ethical business practices present an unprecedented opportunity to deliver significant tangible and intangible organizational benefits."
Safeway is an industry leader in principled business practices, environmental sustainability and effective community outreach. For the last three years, the company has been at the top of the US Greenpeace Supermarket Seafood Sustainability scorecard, a ranking of sustainability practices for grocers. In 2013, Safeway was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America for the fifth year in a row and to the Carbon Disclosure Project for the fifth consecutive year.
In February of this year, President Obama chose Safeway's Maryland distribution center as the site of an announcement where he called for new fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks. The President praised Safeway saying, "By improving the aerodynamics of its trucks, investing in larger trailers, more efficient tires, Safeway has improved its own fuel efficiency. And the results are so solid that Safeway now encourages all the companies it hires to ship its products to do the same."
The company's significant community outreach and philanthropic initiatives include raising and donating millions of dollars annually to benefit a range of non-profits, including food banks, schools, cancer research centers and numerous organizations assisting people with disabilities. Collectively, those funds average $200 million annually.