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Grocery Chains Get Green Grades

ca_green_grocers_report.jpgCorporate Knights Magazine has unveiled a Green Grocer Report Card (PDF) — the ranking looks at the ways major Canadian grocery chains promote and integrate environmental issues into the shopping experience.

Here’s how they grade:

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+

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 here.

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