Ahold updates stakeholders on the progress it made during the year on its Responsible Retailing Report 2014

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2015-3-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ahold today published its Responsible Retailing Report 2014, updating stakeholders on the progress it has made during the year on its five priority areas – healthy living, community well-being, our people, responsible products and care for the environment. Responsible Retailing is one of the six strategic pillars supporting Ahold’s ambition to grow as part of its Reshaping Retail framework.

The report offers stories from across Ahold’s businesses about how associates are working towards the company’s current 2015 targets.

Ahold CEO Dick Boer said: “We want to bring our customers great value, high quality and affordable fresh products, and to do so in a responsible way. We cannot do this in isolation and will continue to work closely with our partners and stakeholders. I am very pleased with the progress in this area we are reporting today.”

Herewith some key highlights of Ahold’s 2014 accomplishments:

Healthy living

  • Healthy products accounted for 24.4% of total food sales at Ahold.
  • Ahold increased its assortment of products with a healthy-choice logo or shelf tag by over 500, to a total of 9,341.
  • Ahold USA piloted a new fresh produce department, offering local, exotic and organic fruits and vegetables and ready-to-eat products, and supported by specially trained associates. It will be rolled out to additional stores in 2015.

Community well-being

  • With programs in the U.S., the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, Ahold continued to support food banks through direct donations and food collection drives coordinated from its stores.
  • Ahold’s health education programs reached over 720,000 kids in the U.S. and Europe.
  • Ahold USA was awarded Progressive Grocer’s prestigious 2014 Retailer of the Year award in recognition of its community support.

Our people

  • 1 out 10 associates took part in healthy living programs around the globe.
  • 40 Albert Heijn stores in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, offered free homework tuition classes to help part-time associates who also attend school, the program is now being rolled out to other cities.
  • Albert stores in Czech Republic rolled out its “Favorite” program to 70 stores, helping associates to engage better with customers to become the favorite supermarket in town.

Responsible products

  • 83% of Ahold’s own-brand coffee was sourced according to accepted industry certification standards.
  • 97% of Ahold’s own-brand food suppliers in Europe had been certified against Global Food Safety Initiative recognized standards, compared to 94% of own-brand food sales in the U.S.
  • In the U.S, the company’s supermarkets were the first in the country to introduce own-brand UTZ certified sustainable chocolate bars, following Albert Heijn’s initiatives.

Care for the environment

  • Ahold achieved 18.5% reduction in CO2 emissions, compared to 2008, by switching to LED lighting, eco-friendly refrigerants and natural gas delivery trucks.
  • The Ahold USA divisions succeeded in cutting back the number of disposable bags distributed in their stores by 547 million since 2011, as part of their Billion Bag Reduction Program.
  • “Young Ahold Best Idea” winners opened Instock restaurant in Amsterdam, tackling food waste.

As the current five-year targets under the Responsible Retailing strategy expire at the end of 2015, Ahold is currently finalizing new ambitions for 2020, which will be shared in the second half of the year.

Read more in the Responsible Retailing Report 2014.

Cautionary notice

This press release includes forward-looking statements, which do not refer to historical facts but refer to expectations based on management’s current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those included in such statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements as to Ahold’s current 2015 targets in its five responsible retailing priority areas. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Many of these risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are beyond Ahold’s ability to control or estimate precisely, such as discussed in Ahold’s public filings and other disclosures. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Koninklijke Ahold N.V. does not assume any obligation to update any public information or forward-looking statements in this release to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as may be required by law. Outside the Netherlands, Koninklijke Ahold N.V., being its registered name, presents itself under the name of “Royal Ahold” or simply “Ahold.”