Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway Inc. has extended its corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitment with an industry-leading program that directly involves and rewards employees and shoppers. The company unveiled its “Heart of Safeway Pledge” as a personal call-to-action to take simple, every day steps—such as using energy-conserving light bulbs, taking a 15-minute walk three times a week or eating healthier foods—that benefit pledge-takers and their communities. Safeway’s CSR philosophy focuses on four key fundamentals: People, Products, Community and the Planet. These fundamentals are The “Heart of Safeway,” according to a news release.
The first 25,000 participants to make a personal pledge will be rewarded with a CSR-themed store coupon for $1 off fresh produce. Since Safeway sources many produce items from local farmers, the coupon not only encourages healthy eating and provides a reward on an every day essential, but it also can be used to support local businesses and help reduce carbon emissions. For each pledge, The Safeway Foundation will donate $1 to benefit Feeding America and Food Banks Canada, contributing up to $25,000 to hunger relief.
“Imagine if every employee and shopper took the pledge—the net effect would be far greater than anything we could accomplish on our own,” said Larree Renda, Safeway EVP and chair of The Safeway Foundation. “As a neighborhood store, we’re already a part of people’s daily lives, and our CSR commitments are truly the ‘Heart of Safeway.’ We see the pledge and coupon as our opportunity to inspire people to take actions and make purchases that directly benefit them and add up to a greater good.”
How to pledge
The “Heart of Safeway Pledge” is located on the company’s new CSR website www.safeway.com/csr. Those wanting to make a difference can log on to create a custom pledge or choose from suggested options. All participants who make their “Heart of Safeway Pledge” through Oct. 31 also will be entered for a chance to win one of 50 $100 Safeway gift cards.
Impact of Safeway’s CSR commitment
From renewable energy projects to more than $188 million raised and contributed in 2011 to local health and human services, hunger relief, assistance for people with disabilities and education programs, Safeway’s CSR efforts are definitely having an impact, the news release says.
Safeway CSR highlights from the past year include:
• Safeway successfully eliminated usage of more than 17 million pounds of cardboard by switching to reusable shipping containers, which diverted 491,400 tons of waste from landfills.
• Employee participants in company health programs were able to collectively reduce their weight by 18,734 pounds and achieved an overall obesity reduction of 4.5 percentage points. Additionally, 63 percent of the participants improved their blood pressure, 47 percent lowered their cholesterol levels and 15 percent improved their Body Mass Index.
• Safeway employees dedicated more than one million volunteer hours in 2011 to benefit local organizations.
• In 2011, Safeway became the first food retailer to hire a chief medical officer to lead employee and community health and wellness efforts.
• Greenpeace USA ranked Safeway No. 1 on its Supermarket Seafood Sustainability list for the second consecutive year in 2012.
• Safeway converted and will continue to convert waste grease from deli departments in its Northern California stores into cleaner-burning bio-diesel fuel to power the Vons truck fleet in Southern California.
• Safeway set a goal to hire 850 military veterans into retail stores in 2012 in addition to the veterans hired through the existing Junior Military Officer training program.