DJSI comprises North American sustainability leaders as identified by Sustainable Asset Management (SAM). It represents the top 20% of the largest 600 North American companies in the S&P Global BMI based on long-term economic, environmental and social criteria.
"Kroger is committed to uplifting our associates, customers and communities, protecting our planet and living our purpose to feed the human spirit," said Denise Osterhues, Kroger's senior director of sustainability and social impact. "It's always an honor to be included on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and our eighth consecutive inclusion validates the progress the Kroger team is making to improve our performance today and help build a more sustainable and equitable food system for the future, particularly through our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact plan."
Specifically, Kroger achieved a fourth consecutive increase in its total DJSI score as well as year-over-year improvements in the Governance & Economic, Environmental and Social index dimensions. These improvements reflect the company's incremental focus on environmental performance improvements; analysis and long-term target-setting; ESG integration, reporting and disclosure; workforce development and engagement; supply chain governance and responsible sourcing; and positive social impact and philanthropy.
Kroger's ranking was driven by efforts outlined in the company's 2020 Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) report. Key three-year performance trends are highlighted in the company's 2020 Goals update. Kroger continues to focus on future long-term targets, including:
Climate Impacts: Kroger set a new science-based goal to reduce absolute GHG emissions from operations by 30% by 2030, from a 2018 baseline.
Plastics & Packaging: Kroger established Sustainable Packaging Goals for 2030 that seek to achieve 100% recyclable, compostable and/or reusable packaging for Our Brands products; increase recycled content in packaging so the Our Brands product portfolio collectively contains at least 10% recycled content in packaging; and reduce unnecessary packaging.
Zero Waste: Kroger is accelerating progress toward its goal to achieve zero waste overall – more than 90% diversion from landfill – as well as zero food waste to landfill by 2025.
Fighting Hunger: Kroger achieved its goal to direct 1 billion meals (in surplus food and funds) to improve food access and serve people in need across its footprint. Looking forward, Kroger aims to direct a total of 3 billion meals by 2025.
Heath & Nutrition: Kroger's Food as Medicine strategy aims for "20x5by2025": 20% improvement in five critical dimensions of population health: obesity, diabetes, food insecurity, cost and product assortment by 2025.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Kroger's new Framework for Action: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion plan features 10 meaningful and immediate actions developed in collaboration with associates and leaders to accelerate and promote greater change in the workplace and communities.
Impact Philanthropy: The work of The Kroger Co. Foundation and The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation amplifies the impact of Kroger's commitments, elevates its purpose and brand promise – Fresh for Everyone – and invests in innovation and change that matters to its communities, nonprofit partners, and the global food system. To donate to the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, visit here.
"We congratulate Kroger for being included in the DJSI North America. A DJSI distinction is a reflection of being a sustainability leader in your industry," said Manjit Jus, Global Head of ESG Research and Data, S&P Global. "With a record number of companies participating in the 2020 Corporate Sustainability Assessment and more stringent rules for inclusion this year, this sets your company apart and rewards your continued commitment to people and planet."