Tell Kroger to cut climate-polluting gases in its stores

Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen

Kroger has a major problem with super-polluting, greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). These HFCs have thousands of times the warming capacity of carbon dioxide, and supermarkets are leaking millions of tons of them every year.

Kroger said that it would address the issue in its latest Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Road Map. Well, let’s just say the road doesn’t go very far. In fact, its own projections show HFC emissions going up before plateauing in 2025 onward. Not going down.

Some major chains like Target, Aldi, and Whole Foods are taking steps to reduce HFCs and use refrigerants with ultra-low Global Warming Potential (GWP) in their stores.

However Kroger still is not. The company has only committed to using HFC-free alternatives in 7 new stores, and their latest plan is very short on details for its nearly 2,800 existing stores. And, if Kroger mergers with Albertsons, it will need to address HFCs in over 2,200 more stores.

The climate crisis is here, and we need Kroger to take action to cut these dangerous emissions on a more aggressive timeline.

Kroger needs to hear from consumers. Whether you've taken action before or not, please take action now. Kroger needs to hear from us again.

HFCs account for a staggering 63% of Kroger’s direct climate emissions, so it should be a top priority in lowering its climate footprint.

Kroger has known about this problem for years, but its efforts thus far are not meeting the urgency of the issue.

We are urging Kroger to end its use of HFCs in all facilities and stores by 2030 and immediately set a robust leak reduction goal for all its stores.

To: Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen
From: [Your Name]

Dear Rodney McMullen, CEO, Kroger

I am writing you today to urge you to address your HFC emissions through better refrigerant management and elimination of HFCs in your refrigeration systems. HFCs make up more than 60% of Kroger’s direct operational emissions and it is critical to act now to phase them out completely!

The climate crisis is actively harming communities and ecosystems worldwide and threatening hundreds of millions of lives. HFCs are potent greenhouse gasses that are rapidly rising and spurring climate change. If we don’t address the issue of HFCs the devasting effects of climate change will get even worse.

Kroger could be a leader on this issue; instead, it is dragging its heels and undermining efforts by the industry as a whole to move toward HFC-free alternatives. I join Green America and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) in asking Kroger to set concrete commitments on phasing out HFCs from all stores, improving monitoring and repair of appliance leaks, and practicing responsible disposal of refrigerants to reduce emissions.

In 2016, the Consumer Goods Forum issued a voluntary resolution on behalf of its member companies, including Kroger, to adopt ultra-low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants and replace current HFC systems rapidly. Kroger opposed the resolution.

Kroger needs to adopt ultra-low GWP refrigeration at all of its nearly 2,800 stores by 2030, and acknowledge that this requires transitioning to refrigerants with a GWP less than 150, not the 1,500 GWP standard the company has put forward.

These technologies are commercially available and cost effective, which is why your competitors are adopting them. A map of climate-friendly supermarkets shows me that I can shop at hundreds of HFC-free supermarkets across the country.

Kroger must adopt robust goals to further reduce leaks from existing HFC equipment.

I join investors and consumers nationwide that are urging Kroger to please take urgent action to eliminate your HFC emissions.

Thank you for your consideration.