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Kroger promotes multicultural merchandising champion to senior director of diversity

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger on Tuesday announced that Angel Colón has been promoted to senior director of diversity. He has been serving as the company's director of multicultural development for merchandising since 2008.

Colón succeeds Rueben Shaffer, who retired at the end of March, as Kroger's head of diversity and also assumes the responsibilities for the company's strong supplier diversity program.

"Angel has been on the leading edge of Kroger's multicultural merchandising initiatives, as well as our internal resource groups supporting and promoting the needs of our diverse workforce, for nearly a decade," stated Tim Massa, Kroger's group VP human resources and labor relations. "We look forward to his continued leadership in his new role, where he will be responsible for Kroger's diversity efforts while also continuing to shape and influence our multicultural efforts."

Colón has held a variety of leadership roles in the grocery industry for 27 years, including product management, direct store delivery merchandising, category management, promotions, sales leadership, broker management, regional marketing, customer marketing and ethnic marketing. He joined Kroger in 2008 in his current role, where he established the company's Multicultural Department and strategic direction. Colón was also a founding member of the KEPASA Associate Resource Group at Kroger's general office, which is an affinity group that empowers, supports and advocates for Hispanic and Latino associates.

Colón earned an MBA and lives in Cincinnati with his wife. They have three children.

 

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Walmart launches sustainability platform

BY Brian Berk

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart on Wednesday launched a sustainability platform, which invites suppliers to join the retailer in committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from their operations and supply chains.

Dubbed “Project Gigaton,” this initiative will provide an emissions reduction toolkit to a broad network of suppliers seeking to eliminate one gigaton of emissions, focusing on areas such as manufacturing, materials and use of products by 2030. According to Walmart, this equals the equivalent to taking more than 211 million passenger vehicles off of U.S. roads and highways for a year.

“We are proud of the improvements we’ve made in reducing our own emissions, but we aim to do more. That’s why we’re working with our suppliers and others on Project Gigaton,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, SVP and chief sustainability officer for Walmart.

Walmart stated it is the first retailer with a verified science-based target emissions-reduction plan. The company aims to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 18% by 2025. The retailer will also work to reduce CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent, emissions from upstream and downstream Scope 3 sources by one billion tons (a gigaton) between 2015 and 2030.

Project Gigaton is part of a series of Walmart sustainability initiatives, focused on addressing social and environmental issues in ways that help communities while also strengthening business. For example, by investing in solar energy, Walmart has helped to support jobs for American solar companies. Walmart has identified energy, agriculture, waste, packaging, deforestation, and product use and design as the goal areas in which to focus their Scope 3 climate efforts. Participating suppliers are encouraged to focus their commitment in one or more of these goal areas.

“Through the years, we’ve seen that integrating sustainable practices into our operations improves business performance, spurs technological innovation, inspires brand loyalty, and boosts employee engagement,” said Laura Phillips, SVP, sustainability for Walmart. “Our suppliers recognize the opportunity to realize those same benefits in their businesses. By working together on such an ambitious goal, we can accelerate progress within our respective companies and deep in our shared supply chains.”

To help suppliers make commitments to emission reduction, or to establish emission reduction projects, Walmart collaborated with NGOs, like World Wildlife Fund and Environmental Defense Fund, and additional like-minded organizations to create an emissions reduction toolkit. In this toolkit, Walmart highlights the business case for why suppliers should consider signing on to Project Gigaton.

"Supply chains are the new frontier of sustainability. The journey products take from source to shelf will collectively shape our planet’s future," said Carter Roberts, president and CEO, World Wildlife Fund. "Project Gigaton is a testament to the transformative impact that leaders of industry can have on our greatest common challenges. As more companies follow in the footsteps of Walmart and their suppliers, we can achieve the critical mass needed to address climate change. Today's commitment represents an important step toward a safer and more prosperous future."

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ShopRite brings back ‘Earth Day Challenge’

BY Brian Berk

KEASBEY, N.J. — ShopRite is encouraging consumers to get involved in Earth Day by bringing back its “Earth Day Challenge” this year. The supermarket retailer is providing complimentary cleanup kits — including essentials like gloves and garbage bags — to volunteers interested in beautifying their communities.

“The program makes it easy for participants to clear litter from beaches or spruce up local parks, and helped spark 6,000 volunteers to participate in community cleanups at 130 locations across five states in 2016. Since the program’s inception, over 40,000 participants have taken part in ShopRite’s Earth Day Challenge,” the company said.

According to ShopRite, its environmentally-friendly practices have produced some impressive results.

  • Over the past 40 years, ShopRite stores have recycled two million tons of material
  • In 2016, ShopRite stores recycled 143,965 tons of waxed and corrugated cardboard; 3,883 tons of plastics; 983 tons of newspaper; 281 tons of office paper; and 57 tons of metal
  • ShopRite composted more than 21,000 tons of food waste in 2016

Earth Day will take place on Saturday, April 22 this year.

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