Albertsons Cos. has embarked on a new corporate sustainability and responsibility strategy with the launch of an environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework dubbed “Recipe for Change.”
Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons said yesterday that the Recipe for Change plan sets long-term goals and strategies focused on maximizing the company’s impact across four “pillars” designated as “Planet, People, Product and Community.”
Leading the execution of Albertsons’ ESG game plan and sustainability agenda will be Suzanne Long, who has served as the supermarket giant’s chief sustainability and transformation officer since last September and been overseeing its ESG efforts since late 2020. Albertsons noted that Long has led a variety of major strategic initiatives at Albertsons and has more than 25 years of experience in retail and consulting, including nearly 15 years at Albertsons Cos./Albertsons Inc. and Supervalu.
“Albertsons Cos. has made substantial progress driving sustainability practices in our operations, including reducing energy and fuel consumption, implementing recycling programs, and fighting food insecurity in our local neighborhoods,” Long said in a statement. “Recipe for Change is about broadening our existing commitments so we can have an even greater impact.”
The “Planet” pillar in the new ESG platform focuses on fighting climate change by reducing carbon emissions through science-based targets. By 2030, Albertsons aims to cut carbon emissions from company operations by 47% and lower downstream carbon emissions from the use of sold goods by about 27%. The grocer also is working to engage its top suppliers to set science-based carbon reduction targets by 2026 as well as to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in company operations by 2040.
Under the “Product” segment of the ESG plan, Albertsons aims to eliminate food waste, cut down on plastic usage and expedite its transition to a more circular economy. For example, the retailer said it’s targeting zero food waste going to landfills by 2030 and plans to leverage global partnerships and platforms to report on and achieve the company’s “Plastics & Packaging Pledge” goals. The latter include all Own Brands (private label) product packaging with standardized recycling communications by the end of this year and, by 2025, all Own Brands packaging to be 100% recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable and include 20% recycled content.
“As a long-standing neighborhood grocer, we have an ongoing commitment to leverage our resources and expertise to support the communities we serve and the planet we share,” stated Vivek Sankaran, CEO of Albertsons Cos. “We are unveiling ambitious and measurable goals that will challenge us to be even more deliberate and creative about how we lead positive change.”
On the “Community” side of the ESG strategy, Albertsons reaffirmed its commitment to reduce consumer food insecurity at a local level. To that end, the grocer aims to enable the donation of 1 billion meals by 2030 and drive programs and partnerships to alleviate hunger in the communities it serves.
The “People” pillar, meanwhile, will address diversity, equity and inclusion in Albertsons’ efforts to cultivate a diverse workforce and provide equal opportunity for all associates. On that front, the company said it will foster diverse representation within its management ranks, promote an inclusive culture that embraces differences and drives innovation to spur growth, and ensure all associates have equal access to opportunities and resources.
Albertsons added that it will provide updates on and share its progress with Recipe for Change in its annual ESG impact report this summer.
Overall, Albertsons operates 2,276 retail stores, including 1,722 pharmacies, in 34 states and the District of Columbia under such banners as Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, Carrs, Kings Food Markets and Balducci’s Food Lovers Market, as well as 402 fuel centers, 22 distribution centers and 20 manufacturing plants.