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Fiscal 2021 Sustainability Performance Data

Our Sustainability Performance Data Table provides an overview of our progress during fiscal year 2021 against key goals across our three sustainability pillars: People, Planet and Products. We believe that being transparent about our progress is foundational to building trust.

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On Track


Increased Focus

people People - Community Investment
Healthy Bodies: Remove barriers to help Canadians access healthy and affordable food
National Campaigns and Donations (all provinces)
Amount raised and donated to support Healthier Tomorrows Nearly $18 million
Amount raised and donated to support La Tablée des Chefs $907,624 raised and donated; 526,000 meals made possible, with 100 kids accessing nutrition education resources
Amount raised and donated to support Special Olympics Canada 982 participating stores raised $1,189,022 for 41,000 Special Olympics Canada athletes
Number of Special Olympics Canada athletes accessing Sobeys Online Nutrition Corner 12,864 athletes
Campaigns and Donations Across Canada (select provinces)
Amount raised and donated to support Toonies for Tummies 682 participating stores raised $1,432,374 for 1,140 schools, resulting in 897,673 meals made possible1
Amount raised and donated to support Annual Holiday Food Drive in December 996 participating stores, together with a company donation, raised $3.8 million for more than 100 food banks, equalling 11.4 million meals2 made possible
Support of nutrition education and emergency food relief for kids with disabilities and families living at or below the poverty line through the Jays Care Foundation 26,250 meals served and 6,241 kids and adults accessed nutrition education3
Campaigns and Donations in Quebec
Amount donated to the Annual Holiday campaign in support of La Guignolée $1,738,150 (↑ 74% YoY)
Amount donated to support Fondation Charles-Bruneau Over $1 million (↑ 121% YoY) to support Project VIE, a collaboration with the CHU Sainte-Justine, focused on integrating healthy eating habits for children receiving chemotherapy treatments
Amount raised and donated by IGA Quebec to support Fondation de L'Institut de Cardiologie de Montréal $285,943 (↑ 25% YoY)
Amount raised and donated by Marchés Tradition et Bonichoix to support Fondation Olo 155,000 (↑ 55% YoY)
Healthy Minds: Increase early interventions of child & youth mental health
National Campaigns and Donations (all provinces)
Amount donated in collaboration with the Sobey Foundation to A Family of Support: Child & Youth Mental Health Initiative $1.35 million donated to support 15 early intervention programs across 13 hospital foundations
Amount donated through in-store fundraising campaigns to A Family of Support: Child & Youth Mental Health 1,823 participating stores raised $2,083,130 to support specific provincial needs for 13 children’s hospital foundations
Empower our store teams to make a local impact
National Campaigns and Donations (all provinces)
Amount donated to the Community Action Fund Over $1 million supporting more than 140 community organizations
Campaigns and Donations (select provinces)
Amount donated through the Food Bank Hampers Program $4.9 million in pre-packaged food hampers sold to support local community organizations
people People - Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Increase women representation
Number of employees participating in Women's Inclusion Network 1,089 members (↑ 38% YoY)
Percentage of female representation in Store Manager (SM), Assistant Store Manager (ASM) & Department Manager in Training Program (DM) SM: 24% ( 0% YoY)
ASM: 34%
DM: 55% (0% YoY)
Percentage of female representation at senior leadership levels (senior vice president and vice president) 34.2% (↑ 5.5% YoY)
Percentage of female representation at Director levels 36.5% (↑ 7.6% YoY)
Partner with organizations who connect with Black, Indigenous and other under-represented communities to promote opportunities
Number of strategic partnerships 7 partnerships established:
  • The BlackNorth Initiative
  • The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB),
  • The Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC)
  • Catalyst
  • Holland Bloorview Dear Everybody Campaign
  • Pride at Work Canada
  • Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI)
Strengthen inclusive leadership
Number of Conscious Inclusion sessions 43 sessions delivered
Number of teammates and leaders participating in Conscious Inclusion sessions 686 have completed the session, of which 171 are leaders (Directors and above), as of April 29, 2021
Percentage of teammates who have completed the Diversity Self Identification Process 32% of operations and 64% of non-retail, office-based employees have self-identified through this process
The establishment of DE&I Leadership Committees Three committees established:
(1) DE&I Council (17 members)
(2) Supplier Diversity Steering Committee (14 members)
(3) Executive DE&I Committee (8 members)
Empower our teammates through diversity, equity and inclusion training
Number of employees completing DE&I Strategy & Commitments cascade training 743
Number of DE&I education and awareness events and registrants 7 events with 1,989 registrants
Number of teammates completing the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) training course on preventing consumer racial profiling 45,246
people People - Employee Health, Safety & Wellness
Track teammate health, safety and wellness
Total Incident Frequency Rate per 200,000 hours 7.0 (↑ 1.4% YoY)4
Number of employee fatalities resulting from operational accidents 0 fatalities
Number of contractor fatalities resulting from operational accidents 0 fatalities
Lost Time Frequency Rate per 200,000 hours 2.5 (↑ 8.7% YoY)5
planet Planet - Plastics & Packaging Waste
Reduce avoidable and hard-to-recycle plastics
Number of plastic grocery checkout bags removed from circulation per year 800 million (↑ 256% YoY)
Percentage of transactions without a bag purchase 85%
Improve waste diversion in our stores
Tonnage plastics recycled from corporate stores 6,755 tonnes6
Tonnage cardboard recycled from corporate stores 36,410 tonnes6
Percentage of total waste from corporate stores that is diverted from landfill (organics & recycling) 31% (corporate stores outside Quebec)5
63% (Quebec corporate stores)8
Quebec Stores Only
Number of stores certified on Action Reduction Program9 247 (↑ 23)
Number of stores certified in each Action Reduction Program category9 Diamond: 32 (↑ 2 YoY)
Platinum: 45 (↑ 9 YoY)
Gold: 44 (↑ 11 YoY)
Silver: 62 (↑ 4 YoY)
Bronze: 64 (↓ 3 YoY)
Percentage of total waste from corporate stores that is diverted from landfill (organics & recycling)7 63%
Improve waste diversion in our distribution of products
Retail Distribution Centres (RSCs)
Tonnage cardboard recycled from RSCs 69,152 tonnes (↑ 28.0% YoY)
Tonnage plastic film recycled from RSCs 2,342 tonnes (↑ 17.1% YoY)
Tonnage Polystyrene recycled from RSC Terrebonne in Quebec 44 tonnes (↓ 26.7% YoY)
planet Planet - Food Waste
50% reduction in food waste sent to landfill by 2025:
Prevent food loss and waste in our stores
Percentage of goal accomplished based on 2016 baseline8 23.4% (↑ 67.1% YoY)
Percentage decrease in surplus food generated per square foot in our retail stores 24.07% (↑ 60.5% YoY)10
FoodHero App (Quebec)
  • Number of stores
  • Number of items posted
  • Number of items sold
  • Total weight of items
  • 203 (↑ 24.5% YoY)
  • 1,570,219 (↑ 95.0% YoY)
  • 956,330 (↑ 134.0% YoY)
  • 309,019 kg (↑ 106.4% YoY)
50% reduction in food waste sent to landfill by 2025:
Tonnage of organics diverted from landfill 17,357 tonnes6
Expand organics composting program
Percentage of corporate stores that have organics program 40%(corporate stores outside Quebec)7
68% (Quebec corporate stores)8
planet Planet - Climate Action
Reduce energy consumption in our stores and distribution centres
Energy reduction achieved from the Energy Efficiency Initiatives in F’21 24 million kWh (↓ 57.9% YoY) | 144 million kWh cumulative since F’19; Initiatives included:
  • Retrofitting overhead lighting at 200 locations.
  • Retrofitting Case lighting at 134 locations.
  • Installing SMC fan motors in 88 locations.
  • Installing Digital Discus compressors at 105 locations.
Complete comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory to set emissions reduction target
Total Scope 1 Emissions (CY 2019) 396,685 tCO2e11
Total Scope 2 Emissions (CY 2019) 354,893 tCO2e12
Total Scope 3 Emissions (CY 2019) 22,926,514 tCO2e13
Combined Scope 1 and 2 Emissions per unit of square foot 33.73 kgCO2e/sqf
Champion climate action in our communities
Total trees committed and planted through One Tree Planted partnership 44,575 committed; 14,000 planted
product Products - Responsible Sourcing
Source only cage-free eggs by the end of 2025
Percentage of total shell eggs sales that are cage-free (i.e., free run, free range and organic) 17.5%14
Source all fresh pork products from producers using gestation crate-free housing systems by the end of 2022
Percentage of Own Brands fresh pork that comes from farms using alternative housing systems for sows More than 30% of Own Brands lean ground pork are from farms using loose housing systems for sows15
100% of Own Brands seafood sustainably sourced
Percentage of Own Brands fresh and frozen fish and seafood by weight that is certified sustainable and/or recommended by Ocean Wise 96% (↑ 2.1% YoY)
By 2020, completely transition to the use of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO)
Percentage of the palm oil usage in Own Brands products that is certified sustainable palm oil 100% (98.6% certified (↑ 4.9% YoY); 1.4% credits (↓ 76.7% YoY))
Offer sustainable and ethical product choices for our customers
Number of Own Brands Fairtrade SKUs 11 SKUs
Number of Compliments Organics SKUs 227 SKUs (↑ 9.1% YoY)
Number of Naturally Simple SKUs 162 SKUs ( (↑ 50.0% YoY)
Be a leader in supporting and investing in local suppliers and producers
Number of local product SKUs added (Excluding Quebec) 2,686 SKUs
Percentage increase in number of local producers and suppliers (Excluding Quebec) 30%
Number of women entrepreneurs/suppliers (Excluding Quebec) 225 (↑ 58.4% YoY)
Champion innovative partnerships
Number of local supplier partners engaged through R-purpose initiative 15
Total number of stores partnering with Alveole (urban bee keeping) 9
Partnership with Infarm
  • 4,466,913 L water saved
  • 292,500 food km prevented
  • 3,567 m2 land saved
Total amount donated in partnership with Earth Day Canada to support environmental initiatives since 2008 $12 million


*The 13.3 million meals made possible through our various community partnerships (referenced in the Highlights section of this year’s report) are inclusive of an estimated 450,000 meals in support of Special Olympics Canada.

  1. Number of meals calculated based on The Grocery Foundation estimates
  2. Number of meals calculated based on Food Banks Canada’s estimate of $1 = 3 meals.
  3. Number of meals calculated based on Jays Care Foundation estimate of $100 gift card = 25 meals made possible.
  4. We had 8 fewer total incidents in fiscal year 2021 compared to fiscal year 2020; however, we had 1.56 million fewer productive hours, thereby impacting our Total Frequency Incident Frequency Rate.
  5. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted our Lost Time Incident Rate in fiscal year 2021.
  6. Represents data from all corporate stores.
  7. Represents data from 75% of corporate stores.
  8. Represents data from 64% of corporate stores in Quebec participating in the Action Reduction Program.
  9. To recognize grocers’ efforts to improve their residual waste management (RWM), Earth Day created Action/Reduction, a certification program designed for the grocery sector.
  10. For Calendar Year 2020; includes corporate & franchise stores.
  11. Scope 1 boundary: Retail sites, Distribution centres, offices, refrigeration leaks, fuel in generators, company-owned vehicles.
  12. Scope 2 boundary: Retail sites, Distribution centres, offices.
  13. Scope 3 boundary: Purchased goods and services, use of sold products, other Scope 3 categories.
  14. Click here for the June 2021 update on our animal welfare commitments.
  15. Loose housing is defined as systems that allow for the housing of sows in group pens during their gestation period. For the safety of the animals and caregivers, sows are housed in stalls during their nursing and breeding stages.

Reporting Standards

This section contains external disclosures aligned with several key environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards and frameworks such as Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), CDP (formerly the Climate Disclosure Project) and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board): Established as an independent standards-setting organization, SASB has issued 77 sector-specific standards to enable businesses around the globe to identify, manage and communicate financially-material sustainability information to their investors.

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Download Fiscal 2021 SASB Index (PDF 0.98MB)

Below is our 2021 SASB Index for the Food Retailers and Distributors Standard (Version 2018-10). Unless otherwise stated, all metrics in our SASB Index are based on the fiscal year 2021 (May 3rd, 2020 to May 1st, 2021) for our corporate stores across retail grocery banners and distribution centers, excluding pharmacy sites. Unless otherwise stated, all metrics include Farm Boy.

Topic Accounting Metric Accounting Metric Empire Response
Fleet Fuel Management

Fleet fuel consumed, percent renewable


907,613 GJ* (gigajoules), 0% renewable. (Timeframe: February 2020 to January 2021)

Air Emissions from Refrigeration

(1) Gross global scope 1 emissions from refrigerants (tCO2e)


168,825 tCO2e 1

(2) Percentage refrigerants consumed with zero ozone depleting potential



(3) Average refrigerant emissions rate



Energy Management

(1) Operational energy consumed


7,796,785 GJ (gigajoules) (Timeframe: January 2019 to December 2019)

(2) Percentage grid electricity


60% (Timeframe: January 2019 to December 2019).

(3) Percentage renewable


0% renewable energy.

Food Waste Management

Amount (kg) of food waste generated, percent food waste diverted


In January 2019, we committed to reduce our food waste by 50% by 2025, using 2016 as our baseline. Since 2016, we have reduced the amount of surplus food generated per square foot by 18.5%* across our corporate stores (as of December 31, 2020).

Data Security

(1) Number of data security breaches


(2) Percentage involving personally identifiable information (PII)


In F’21, we did not experience any material internal breach of our data.

(3) Number of customers affected


Approach to identifying and addressing data security risks


We have put in place multiple controls to protect data, including access control, encryption, endpoint detection and response, antivirus systems and 24/7 event log monitoring. Our cyber security awareness program equips teammates to make informed decisions to protect our business from cyber threats. This includes monthly targeted phishing campaigns and regular cyber security updates on our intranet and digital signage. We also provide cyber security quarterly updates, coordinate enterprise-wide phishing campaigns and mandate security awareness training for all teammates on a semi-annual basis.

Food Safety

High-risk food safety violation rate


Of the 2,345 food safety grocery store audits performed in F’21, 99.8% passed without exceptions and the remaining were addressed promptly with appropriate resolution.* All distribution center audits passed without exception.

(1) Number of recalls


There were 61 national and Own Brands recalls in F’21.

(2) Total units recalled


There is no information available on the number of units recalled.

(3) Percentage of units that are private-label products


21.3% of the total recalls were Own Brands recalls.

Product Health & Nutrition

Revenue from products labeled and/or marketed to promote health and nutrition attributes


Our Own Brands, primarily within the Compliments brand, offers more than 750 products that address the specific health and nutritional requirements and choices of our customers such as gluten-free, peanut-free, plant-based and organics.
Products are available at our stores from coast-to-coast. While we do not disclose revenue amounts, there was growth in revenue for this product type of over 35% in F’21 compared to F’20.*

Discussion of the process to identify and manage products and ingredients related to nutritional and health concerns among consumers


New product development is guided by research, science and trends in the marketplace. Nutrition and health claims are validated through third-party accredited laboratory analysis. Organic, gluten-free, and plant-based products are third-party audited to an accredited certification scheme.

Product Labeling & Marketing

Number of incidents of non-compliance with industry or regulatory labeling and/or marketing codes


Zero reported incidents with findings of non-compliance with regulatory labelling and marketing practices per the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards as a result of adverse rulings by the Advertising Standards Council of Canada (ASC).

Total amount of monetary losses from legal proceeding related to marketing / labelling practices


Zero monetary losses as a result of court judgements associated with marketing and/or labelling practices.

Revenue of sales ($) from products labelled as containing GMOs / non-GMO


Our Own Brands offer over 200 SKUs that are third-party certified to Canadian Organic Standards. As certified organic products, these products are non-GMO. While we do not disclose revenue amounts, there was growth in revenue for this product type of over 25% in F’21 compared to F’20.*

Labor Practices

Avg. hourly wage


Our average national hourly wage for all corporate, part-time, full-time and casual employees in both our retail stores and distribution centres is $19.88. Including benefits, our average hourly rate was $22.86.*

Percentage of in-store and distribution center employees earning minimum wage, by region


Approximately three-quarters of in-store and distribution center employees earn more than minimum wage.

Percentage of active workforce covered under collective bargaining agreements


National average of workforce covered by collective bargaining agreement is 36%.

Number of work stoppages, total days idle


Zero work stoppages and idle days in F’21.

Monetary losses from legal proceedings associated with (1) labour law violations,
(2) employment discrimination


Zero monetary losses as a result of labour board or human rights tribunal judgements associated with labour law violations or employment discrimination.*

Management of Environmental and Social Impacts in Supply Chain

Revenue of sales from products third party certified to an environmental / social sustainability sourcing standard


Our Own Brands offer over 270 SKUs that are third-party certified to an environmental and/or social standard. While we do not disclose revenue amounts, there was growth in revenue for this product type of over 40% in F’21 compared to F’20.*

Percentage of revenue from (1) eggs that originated from a cage-free environment, (2) pork produced without the use of gestation crates


In F’21, we updated our Animal Welfare Guidelines, prioritizing pork and egg proteins. Cage-free eggs (free run, free range, organic) make up approximately 17.5% of our total shell egg sales as of the end of our F’21.* Additionally, we also estimate that more than 30% of the sows from the supplier of our Own Brands lean ground pork are housed in loose housing systems* (defined as systems that allow for the housing of sows in group pens during their gestation period. For the safety of the animals and caregivers, sows are housed in stalls during their nursing and breeding stages). We do not disclose revenue-related data.

Discussion: Strategy to manage environmental / social risks in the supply chain, including animal welfare


Please see Responsible Sourcing section to learn about Sobeys strategy to manage environmental/social risks in the supply chain.

Discussion: Strategy to reduce environmental impact of packaging


Our strategy to reduce the environmental impacts of our packaging has at its core a focus on driving down the usage of single-use plastics and optimizing packaging for recycling. A primary goal is the reduction of the use of hard-to-recycle plastics.
Building on the successful elimination of single-use plastic grocery bags at checkouts in our Sobeys banner in January 2020, we continued the initiative across nearly all its grocery banners in F’21, including in the remaining Atlantic Canada banners, IGA Quebec, Safeway, IGA West, Foodland Ontario, Boni-choix, Tradition, Needs and Fast Fuel sites, and the FreshCo banner, which became the first discount grocery retailer in the country to join this movement. Altogether, we have removed 800 million single-use plastic bags from circulation since January 2020. Looking forward, plastics and packaging will continue to be a priority area, as we set a plastics reduction target in F’22.


Number of retail locations and distribution centers


Retail Sites: 1,968 | Distribution Centers: 24*


Total area of retail space and distribution centers


Retail Sites: 40,289,525 sq. ft


Number of vehicles in commercial fleet


Tractors: 376* | Trailers: 1,611* | Voila Delivery Vans: 200*


Ton miles travelled


Data not available currently.


* metric does not include Farm Boy.
1 Scope 1 emissions from refrigerant leakage includes our corporate grocery sites where maintenance service providers are integrated with our maintenance tracking and data management system. We will be enhancing our data collection processes over the next year as we continue to work with our service providers to expand coverage of this emissions source.

CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project): Since 2014, we’ve disclosed climate performance to CDP. CDP enables companies to evaluate and improve environmental performance related to Climate Change, Forests and Water security issues by identifying and implementing best practices and communicating goals and progress to our key stakeholders.

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Download Sobeys 2020 CDP Climate Change Disclosure (PDF 0.47MB)
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Download Sobeys 2020 CDP Forests Disclosure (PDF 0.25MB)

RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil): We’ve disclosed to RSPO since 2014. The RSPO has developed a set of environmental and social criteria which companies must comply with in order to produce Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO). When they are properly applied, these criteria can help to minimize the negative impact of palm oil cultivation on the environment and communities in palm oil-producing regions.