Alignment between a company’s CSR efforts and its core business is crucial to any campaign’s success. Few efforts were as well aligned as that of The Kroger Co., one of America’s largest grocery store chains, and its goal of eliminating food waste. Its efforts have won Kroger first place in the “Corporate Social Responsibility” category of Ragan’s 2018 Employee Communications Awards.
In the United States alone, more than 40 percent of food produced is thrown away each year. Kroger isn’t merely paying lip service to the issue with its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste effort, which seeks to end hunger in the communities where it operates and eliminate waste across the organization by 2025. External communication has been considerable, but the CSR effort also focuses on associates, who are continuously engaged and informed on the program, with activities including store manager training, a focus on the program in new-hire orientation and ongoing coverage on the intranet and in leadership communication.
Related content has appeared in internal social media, digital signage, the weekly email newsletter and in-store signage. Employees have had opportunities to volunteer at locally-driven community events, and the app encourages employee store associates to engage customers digitally. Employees have also been recognized for their involvement.
The effort has resulted in Kroger ”rescuing” 91.2 million pounds of food and providing 325 million meals to families in need in Kroger’s communities. It’s also noteworthy that 81 percent of employees surveyed responded positively to the question, “Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste plan is our commitment to end hunger in our communities and eliminate waste in our company by 2025. By knowing this, does it make you feel proud to work for the company?”