Late last week Southeastern Grocers Inc. (SEG), the parent company of grocers Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket, and Winn-Dixie grocery, released its 2022 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report, showcasing the retailer’s progress in sustainability, community engagement, and values-driven operations.
The ESG report is part of SEG’s ongoing commitment to transparency and accountability in all its operations. The annual report is designed to provide customers, investors, and stakeholders with a comprehensive overview of the grocer’s approach to sustainability and social responsibility.
Anthony Hucker, President and CEO for Southeastern Grocers, said, “At Southeastern Grocers, we understand the importance of making informed purchasing decisions that have a positive impact on the environment. We are committed to being responsible stewards of our planet’s resources, and in 2022, we made significant strides in fulfilling our environmental commitments and implementing sustainable improvements. We believe working together with our customers, supplier partners and communities is key to achieving our environmental goals as we continue leading the way in promoting positive change for the health of our planet and making a lasting impact on future generations.”
The grocer’s ESG report highlights its progress in key areas aligned with six United Nations Sustainable Development Goals addressing hunger, health, education, inequalities, responsible consumption and production, and ocean conservation.
SEG is committed to increasing sustainability for its Retail-owned Brand packaging by the end of 2028. To achieve this, the grocer is taking steps to eliminate the use of polystyrene, and ensure all packaging is either reusable, recyclable or industrially compostable. Furthermore, SEG is working to include an average of 30% post-consumer recycled material in all Own Brand packaging. The grocer also continues to collaborate with supplier partners and stakeholders to work toward achieving industry-established sustainable product and packaging goals. As part of its collaboration with supplier partners, SEG is working to define clear objectives that result in the betterment of animal welfare and pollinators. In 2022, SEG committed to the guiding principles of The Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare to further enhance its animal welfare policy, and outlined policies to nurture and protect the planet’s vital pollinator populations to help safeguard food security now and for future generations.
As a forward-thinking, sustainability-focused grocer, SEG recently formed a partnership with Relocalize to pilot ice manufacturing in the world’s first autonomous micro-factory, designed to help eliminate middle-mile logistics to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, water waste and plastic pollution. This innovative and automated manufacturing process launched in March 2023 with the introduction of SE Grocers Party Cubes, a super-premium cubed ice made efficiently, locally and on-demand for select Jacksonville locations.
In 2022, SEG, together with its charitable arm the SEG Gives Foundation, donated more than $700,000 and 14 million pounds of food to help alleviate hunger, as well as $2.55 million to support crucial emergency assistance, disaster preparedness, and relief programs both locally in the wake of Hurricane Ian, and overseas in support of the citizens of Ukraine. The grocer also donated more than $1.25 million to Folds of Honor, providing more than 250 educational scholarships to the children and spouses of fallen and disabled military service members; and gave nearly $2 million in support to various military, health and local community initiatives. To deepen its commitment to underrepresented communities, SEG expanded its giving focus in 2022 to support more causes dedicated to elevating belonging, inclusion and diversity, allowing the grocer to make a larger impact within its communities while empowering authenticity, educating the broader society and eliminating long-standing barriers. In its third year, SEG’s Romay Davis Belonging, Inclusion and Diversity Grant Program presented 30 nonprofits with funds totaling $300,000 – supporting more organizations than in years prior.
In celebration of Earth Day, SEG has taken several actions to support environmental causes and promote sustainability, including donating to local organizations to help elevate their environmental efforts, partnering with Florida State Parks to host design contests with local schools aimed at reducing the use of single-use plastic bags, and implementing volunteer cleanup days for store teams.
SEG is dedicated to being a responsible and trusted retailer that prioritizes the needs of both present and future generations. The grocer believes in taking purposeful steps to facilitate lasting change, and is committed to weaving sustainability into every aspect of its operations – from its products and services to its impact on the planet. SEG strives to lead by example and be at the forefront of advancing sustainable practices and environmental stewardship.