March 1, 2010
Safeway Inc. has become the first U.S.-based retail grocery chain and manufacturer for private label merchandise to join The Sustainability Consortium in support of the organization’s science-based work toward a more sustainable global supply chain. The company joins other retailers and consumer product manufacturers that have become members of the Consortium and its product “life cycle” mission including social and environmental considerations.
"We applaud the Consortium’s work and believe its mission is a good fit with Safeway’s efforts to provide its customers with a larger selection of sustainable products and services," said Larree Renda, Safeway Executive Vice President, Chief Strategist and Administrative Officer. She said the company is committed to becoming “the premier retailer in the grocery sector with an unrivaled reputation for pursuing growth through leadership in environmental, socially responsible and ethical business practices.” Safeway is engaged in a broad range of sustainability initiatives.
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Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool for analyzing emissions, waste and the natural resources used from soil to kitchen in different food and non-food items. Safeway is interested in aggregating the data for primary sectors such as agriculture, dairy, packaging and fishery through industrial food processing to retail delivery. This data will be leveraged in creating Safeway's company-wide supply chain policy encouraging sustainable purchasing and manufacturing practices throughout the organization's direct and indirect buying.
In joining the Consortium, Safeway Inc. builds momentum for science with supplier partners such as General Mill’s, Procter & Gamble, and PepsiCo. Safeway will play a leadership role in modeling life cycle inventories; the goal is to better understand the complete scope of industry’s social and environmental footprint. This effort will help refine existing efforts at the company to continuously improve performance. Through its membership Safeway will work with CPG companies, nongovernmental organizations, academia and government.
The Sustainability Consortium is co-administered by Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas; the Consortium will research and publish findings on the life cycle impacts of various categories within the non-food, food and agricultural categories. These findings will identify environmental opportunities throughout the supply chain for Safeway creating both a map and compass towards how Safeway sources product.
Forward thinking solutions are required at all levels of business to solve complicated and inter-related problems. Taking a systems approach to supply chain and employing science to solve environmental issues is not new to Safeway supply chain. However, broadening the scope and depth of the company’s work across multiple categories will be an important part of the company’s sustainability initiatives.
In developing Life Cycle criteria, the Consortium will consider the impacts food and agriculture has on those customers who shop for their food and non-food items at Safeway. “This important research will build an important bridge to creating the standards for metrics by which our industry measures itself against sustainability goals uncovering key opportunities to eliminate waste and preserve natural resources," said Linda Nordgren, Safeway Group Vice President of Supply Chain & Strategic Sourcing. "Creating actionable data on the lifecycle impacts of food & agriculture will assist Safeway in creating its Environmentally Preferable Purchasing policy," said Nordgren.
Jay Golden Co-Director of The Sustainability Consortium and an Assistant Professor at Arizona State University added, “I am excited by the commitment and forward thinking of Safeway. I look towards their leadership within The Sustainability Consortium as we jointly strive towards our goal of developing the global standard for measuring and reporting the sustainability of consumer products around the globe.”
Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 50 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, based on sales. The company operates 1,730 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $44.1 billion in 2008. The company’s common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY. Safeway supports a broad range of charitable and community programs and in 2009 donated more than $250 million to important causes, such as cancer research, education and hunger relief. www.Safeway.com
About the Sustainability Consortium
The Sustainability Consortium is an independent organization of diverse global participants that work collaboratively to build a scientific foundation that drives innovation to improve consumer product sustainability. It develops transparent methodologies, tools and strategies to drive a new generation of products and supply networks that address environmental, social and economic imperatives. The Sustainability Consortium advocates for a transparent process and system, not individuals or organizations. Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas jointly administer the Sustainability Consortium.
Learn more at www.sustainabilityconsortium.org.
The">http://www.sustainabilityconsortium.org">www.sustainabilityconsortium.or... Sustainability Consortium is a part of the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University (ASU); and the Applied Sustainability Center at the University of Arkansas.
The Global Institute of Sustainability is the hub of ASU’s sustainability initiatives and home to the first of its kind School of Sustainability; it works to advance research, education, and business practices for an urbanizing world (http://sustainability.asu.edu">http://sustainability.asu.edu">http://sustainability.asu.edu).
The Applied Sustainability Center at the University of Arkansas leads organizations in the retail and consumer goods industries toward sustainable practices that support an economy built around people, planet, and profit. The center is part of the Sam M. Walton College of Business and serves multiple disciplines across campus (http://asc.uark.edu">http://asc.uark.edu">http://asc.uark.edu).
Brian Dowling, Safeway Vice President of External Affairs
Karen Leland, Director, Communications
Global Institute of Sustainability/School of Sustainability
Arizona State University