CINCINNATI, Sept. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced its inaugural listing on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index-North America. The Dow Jones Sustainability Index-North America tracks the economic, environmental and social sustainability performance of the top 20 percent of the 600 largest North America-based companies in the Dow Jones Global Total Stock Market Index. "Inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index is an important mile marker and a sign of real progress for Kroger," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's president and chief operating officer. "While we take great pride in the strides we have made to reduce our impact on the environment and to operate as good stewards in our communities, we have more work to do. We intend to continue pursuing our long-term sustainability goals with enthusiasm and determination." Learn more about Kroger's sustainability progress and download the full 2013 sustainability report at www.kroger.com/sustainability. Highlights of Kroger's Sustainability ProgressKroger is Feeding the Hungry. Kroger's number one community priority is to support organizations that bring food and hope to our hungry neighbors. A founding partner of Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger agency, Kroger worked with more than 80 local food banks in 2012 to donate the equivalent of 200 million meals. Moving toward the EPA's Zero Waste threshold of 90%, in all Kroger retail locations. To get there, Kroger will increase the diversion rate to 65% for all stores by the end of 2013, and to 70% by the end of 2015. Today, the company diverts 58% of waste. Kroger is Reducing its Carbon Footprint. Kroger's aggressive work to reduce energy, the implementation of a refrigerant management plan and improved fleet productivity has led to a 4.8% reduction in overall carbon footprint – even as the company grows in size and sales. Kroger is Creating Jobs. The company has created more than 33,000 jobs since 2007. Kroger, one of the world's largest retailers, employs 343,000 associates who serve customers in 2,418 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's. The company also operates 783 convenience stores, 326 fine jewelry stores, 1,195 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 200 million meals a year through more than 80 Feeding America food bank partners. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber's Million Dollar Club. SOURCE The Kroger Co.