Safeway signs on as first U.S. retailer of sustainability consortium



Safeway announced on Monday their involvement in the Sustainability Consortium initiative, which is funded by Wal-Mart, in support of its science-based work towards a more sustainable global supply chain.  They are the first U.S. grocer to join the group as a founding member.  

The Sustainability Consortium was launched in support of Wal-Mart's Sustainability Index, and aims to publish findings (that are co-administered by Arizona State University & the University of Arkansas) on the lifecycle impacts of its foods, non-food, and agricultural products.  Safeway signed on, along with many other retailers, in hopes of identifying and changing how their products are sourced.

They will identify such sourcing through Life Cycle Assesment (LCA), which analyzes emissions, waste, and resources for use in a company-wide supply-chain policy that encourages sustainable purchasing.   Agriculture, dairy, fisheries, and packaging are the areas in which Safeway wishes to utilize the LCA data.  

Safeway is taking a systems-approach to supply chains for solving environmental issues, and its nothing new.  What is new is that the retailer is taking a more broad approach to its supply chain and considering the impacts of food on its customers.

'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 VP 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.'

Safeway Executive VP Larree Renda, says '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,' The company is a part of many sustainability initiatives and would like to become the leading grocer for environmentally, socially, and ethically responsible business practices.

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