Sustainability goes far beyond recycling.
Almost every day a new company comes out with a promise to implement specific changes to enhance their sustainability commitment over the coming years. Some companies even aim to be 100% waste free in the next 10 years. What exactly are these companies committing to?
Customer insights illustrate that a growing number of shoppers want to make better, more informed purchase decisions. The story behind a product has become a motivating factor for many customers. Kroger offers thousands of sustainably sourced and produced products in its stores and through its ecommerce channels, including its own Simple Truth brand, which offers a growing assortment of Fair Trade Certified products like coconut, coffee, sugar and tea, and leads the private label grocery industry in Fair Trade offerings.
Members of Kroger’s Simple Truth team recently traveled to the Philippines to visit several Fair Trade Certified coconut farms to see its community investment partnership in action, including how the company is enhancing meal programs for local schoolchildren.
Chipotle Mexican Grill announced its commitment to divert half of all of its restaurant waste from landfills by 2020. Since 2015 Chipotle has made strides towards reducing the amount of food and packaging waste bound for landfills, increasing its diversion rate from 31 percent that year to 40 percent in 2017. Now the company embarks on achieving a 50 percent diversion rate.
Landfills can often contain materials that could have been recycled or composted for greater environmental benefits, but instead emit greenhouse gases that may contribute significantly to global climate change. By diverting materials that would otherwise be sent to a landfill, Chipotle is doing its part to help lower emissions and be a positive force for change.
“Increasing our waste diversion rate to 50 percent is an ambitious goal, but we feel it’s important to be assertive in our efforts to advance our purpose,” said Caitlin Leibert, head of sustainability at Chipotle. “We remain deeply dedicated to bringing guests great tasting food while upholding Chipotle’s values and commitment to food made with respect for the land and environment.”
Food Lion is among the leaders in the grocery industry in sustainability. Food Lion’s sustainability effort in 2017 included donating more than 100 million meals to its local feeding agency partners as well as recycling more than 128,000 tons of material.
In addition, Food Lion recently received its 17th ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award, making it the only grocer and corporate partner in the nation to have won that many consecutively. Since 2000, Food Lion has saved more than 843.6 million kWh of energy, which is equivalent to powering every household in our 10-state footprint for one day.
One of Walmart’s biggest initiatives to help lower its greenhouse gas emissions is Project Gigaton. The Walmart sustainability platform, introduced just over a year ago, invites suppliers to join the organization in committing to reduce emissions from their operations and supply chains.
The program’s main feature is an emissions reduction toolkit available to this network of suppliers. It’s goal? To eliminate one gigaton of emissions—the equivalent of removing 211 million passenger cars from U.S. roads for a year—from areas like manufacturing, materials, and use of products by 2030.
As of Project Gigaton’s first year, 20 million metric tons (MMT) of greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced. The project has also since expanded internationally to China and the U.K., and more than 400 suppliers with operations in 30 countries have joined.