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Kroger sets water conservation goal with the release of its eighth annual sustainability report

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger on Tuesday published its eighth annual sustainability report, setting its first-ever water conservation goal and providing a progress update on moving retail locations toward "zero waste" and sourcing 100% certified sustainable palm oil. 
 
Kroger is committed to reducing water consumption in supermarket locations by 5% in 2014, the company stated. This is Kroger's first public water conservation goal. In 2013, Kroger manufacturing plants reduced water usage by 61 million gallons, which is equivalent to the yearly water usage of 1,455 American homes.
 
The company is 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 70% for all stores by the end of 2015. Today, the company diverts 59% of waste.
 
Kroger is committed to sourcing 100% certified sustainable palm oil by the end of 2015, and has begun the transition to certified sustainable palm oil in three food production facilities that make products containing palm oil.
 
"We will achieve or exceed many of our 2015 goals and have begun the process of determining key 2020 goals in many areas. We intend to push for faster and more accelerated improvement across all areas of our business — including water conservation," stated Rodney McMullen, Kroger's CEO. "Our annual sustainability report contains both quantifiable evidence of the progress we are making and also stories that illustrate and inspire. Mainly, however, this report is a celebration of the dedication of our associates who bring to life — through their everyday activities — our goals and ambitions to lessen our environmental impact, support the work of community organizations and lead change in certain areas of our business and our industry."
 
Some of the highlights of Kroger's 2013 sustainability progress include: 
 
  • Last year, Kroger's family of stores contributed nearly 73 million pounds of food and other products to more than 100 local food banks. Between food and cash donations, Kroger contributed more than 200 million meals to families in need in 2013;
  • In 2013, the Kroger family of stores provided $46 million to more than 30,000 schools and charitable organizations participating in Community Rewards, a sales-based community fundraising program that enables shoppers to select a cause Kroger should support;
  • More than 45,000 employees participated in walking and weight loss challenges in 2013. Kroger associates walked 35.7 billion steps and collectively lost 36,214 pounds. Kroger also invested more than $27.5 million in incentives to associates that met health screening targets;
  • At the end of 2013, 27 of the company's manufacturing facilities had achieved a "zero waste" benchmark. Across the company's retail locations, Kroger added 200 more stores with organic recycling programs, totaling 988 locations;
  • Since 2000, Kroger has reduced energy consumption by nearly 35%. The Kroger family of stores has 557 ENERGY STAR certified store locations, as well as 517 that are eligible to become certified; and
  • Kroger spends nearly $2 billion annually with minority-owned and women-owned business enterprises. Kroger is a member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber's Million Dollar Club.
 
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Policy expert Jim VandeHei to headline CRN conference

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Wednesday announced that Jim VandeHei, named one of the 100 most powerful thinkers of the “Information Age” by Vanity Fair, will kick off the conference "CRN’s Annual Symposium for the Dietary Supplement Industry," taking place in Dana Point, Calif. Nov. 5 to 8. 

         
Co-founder, president and CEO of Politico, VandeHei is a political and policy source that Washingtonian called a “media phenomenon.” VandeHei is also the president and CEO of Capital New York and has more than 20 years of journalistic political savvy — including stints covering politics at publications such as Roll Call, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
 
“CRN has a reputation for bringing high caliber speakers to the conference, and Jim VandeHei ups the ante,” stated Judy Blatman, SVP communications, CRN. “With his combined political acumen, journalistic curiosity, and status as a sought after political commentator on shows like MSNBC’s 'Morning Joe,' our conference participants will not only be entertained, but will be enlightened about the inner workings of national politics.” 
 

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GelStat closes acquisition of Mastix Medica

BY Michael Johnsen

PALM CITY, Fla. — GelStat on Tuesday announced it has closed the acquisition of Mastix Medica. GelStat acquired 100% of the membership equity in Mastix Medica in exchange for 27,500,000 restricted shares in GelStat's common stock. In conjunction with the closing of this acquisition, GelStat launches a new corporate website which can be viewed at Gelstat.com.
 
Mastix Medica specializes in the manufacturing of functional gum and tableted products in a variety of dosage forms for a diverse customer base, and for domestic and international markets, GelStat noted. These products include cannabidiol-infused tableted chewing gums, chewable tablets, lozenges, mints and confections. Product capabilities include the manufacture of dietary supplements, functional chewing gum infused with cannabidiols from industrial hemp, functional foods and medicated confectionaries and candy. 
 
"The acquisition of Mastix Medica adds another dimension to GelStat that complements our present experience in product innovation and marketing," stated Larry Gershman, GelStat CEO. "The vertical integration also enhances our gross margins on our recently introduced dietary supplement Chews 2 Lose Appetite Suppressant Gum. More importantly, the acquisition brings to GelStat a key asset and foothold in the explosive growth high-CBD/low-THC medical marijuana and hemp infused products market. Mastix Medica has recently filed for a provisional patent that allows for the infusion of hemp oil based substrates into gum powder that is yielding higher concentrations of the active ingredients as the gum is never boiled but produced at room temperature."
 
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