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Corporate Knights Magazine reveals Canada’s greenest grocers

Thursday, May 1st 2008 9:19:59am

Corporate Knights Magazine reveals Canada’s greenest grocers

(Toronto, Canada, May 1, 2008) Corporate Knights Magazine unveiled the first-annual Corporate Knights Green Grocer Report Card in its inaugural Food Issue. The ranking looks at the ways major Canadian grocery chains promote and integrate environmental issues into the shopping experience.

The results are as follows:

Mainstream grocers
1. Loblaw Companies Limited: C+
2. Safeway Inc.: C
3. Metro Inc.: C
4. Sobeys Inc.: C

Specialized grocers
1. Planet Organic Market Ltd.: A
2. Whole Foods Market: B+

Corporate Knights conducted anonymous assessments at six major grocery conglomerates in five Canadian cities - Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. Corporate-level questionnaires were used to provide a sense of where things are going, but the grocers were not rated on corporate initiatives.

Corporate Knights assessed the grocery stores in five categories based on the in-store survey results: Climate Change, Consumer Education, Food Sustainability, Household Sustainability, and Waste and Recycling.

With private-label organic lines and fair trade coffee just about standard in mainstream stores, it is clear that grocers have crossed a green threshold. But the report card shows there is room for improvement across the board, since environmentally-friendly household goods, local produce, and sustainable meat and fish were difficult to find at the stores visited.

While the specialty grocers’ are models for their mainstream peers, they fared poorly in their selection of local produce and neither grocery chain featured sustainably-farmed fish in their stores.

The corporate questionnaire revealed that Canadian grocers are aware that their customer base is demanding products that fit an environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

“Grocers are making commendable changes to their corporate strategies, including building LEED-standard buildings and making it easier for individual stores to source local food,” says Melissa Shin, Associate Editor. “However, there is a disconnect between what is being promoted at the corporate level and what the consumer sees during his or her weekly shopping trip.”

The full results of the Report, including recommendations, a grading key, and a copy of the grocer survey, are available on www.corporateknights.ca and are summarized in the Food Issue (Vol. 6.4) of Corporate Knights.

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To schedule interviews with Melissa Shin, Associate Editor, contact:

Jonathan Laderoute, e|c|o, 416-972-7401, laderoutej(a)huffstrategy.com


Founded in 2002, Corporate Knights Inc. is an independent Canadian-based media company focused on promoting and reinforcing sustainable development in Canada.