Kroger to Adopt Deforestation Policy

We wanted to share a quick update from Green Century’s progressive work with Deforestation within their funds. Green Century is the only mutual fund company in the world that is owned by environmental non-profits.

BOSTON, May 7, 2019 – Green Century is pleased to announce that Kroger, the largest grocery chain in the U.S., will develop and implement a no-deforestation policy. This new commitment will cover Kroger’s private label Our Brands products.

“Kroger prides itself on ‘nourishing our communities and preserving our planet’ and, as one of the largest retailers in the world, this new commitment certainly will help preserve the world’s forests,” said Green Century Shareholder Advocate Jessye Waxman. “By listening to our concerns about deforestation risks in its supply chain and agreeing to implement a no-deforestation policy, Kroger is making real progress on this important and material sustainability issue.”

In 2019, Kroger will assess its exposure to deforestation and use those findings to inform the development of its no-deforestation commitments. Moving forward, Kroger will also share progress on its commitments to address deforestation in its annual Sustainability Report, by joining the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and by completing the CDP Forests questionnaire.

“Kroger is a giant company with an immense supply chain, so this new commitment is a big deal,” said Green Century President Leslie Samuelrich. “I’m pleased that Kroger listened to our concerns and is committing to improving its protection of tropical forests.”

Green Century was lead on the deforestation resolution filed with Kroger, and worked with Seventh Generation Interfaith and two co-filers, the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province, on the engagement.

The conversion of tropical forests to agricultural plantations is the primary cause of deforestation, which is a leading contributor to climate change. Forest destruction contributes nearly the same amount of global greenhouse-gas emissions as the entire transportation sector. Deforestation also poses a risk to the preservation of biodiversity and the maintenance of healthy ecosystems.

Kroger’s commitment to reduce it’s business practices that contribute to deforestation is just one example of how companies in Green Century Funds are spurred to improve their behavior.