Sustainability Forum: Keynote Chat With Kroger

Denise Osterhues, president of Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation and senior leader in sustainability will discuss the retailer’s initiatives and more.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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The Store Brands Industry Forums virtual event that will discuss four key areas of sustainability through four different webinars has added an opening session: a keynote discussion with Denise Osterhues, Kroger's senior director of sustainability and social impact. 

The grocer has been at the forefront of sustainability through its Simple Truth Recycling Program, a first for a retailer to develop a recycling program for its private brand along with TerraCycle. Simple Truth is also a leader in private label to offer Fair Trade products like coconut, coffee, sugar and tea.

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Denise Osterhues

Additionally, Kroger operates a wide ranging social and sustainability impact program — Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, working with organizations to reduce the amount of food that ends up in a landfill and improve ways to feed those facing food insecurity.

Osterhues is the president of the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation and will discuss Kroger’s initiatives and trends facing store brands and sustainability.

At Kroger, Osterhues is the senior ESG leader, driving sustainability and positive social impact for Kroger. 

Osterhues connects the company's purpose to ESG strategy, operational improvements and reporting/disclosures as well as strategic philanthropy to unlock business value and achieve its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste mission.

The discussion with Osterhues will kick off the virtual event July 27. Four following sessions will cover: reducing food waste, sourcing products ethically, developing sustainable packaging and understanding a circular economy approach to sustainability.

Other panelists include: 

  • Kendrick Repko, director of sustainable products, Ahold Delhaize USA;
  • Christie Zimmerman, a products standards manager at Natural Grocers, who works to bring product transparency to the shelf at the retailer;
  • Derrek Reitz, the sustainability specialist for Weis Markets, tasked with eliminating food waste;
  • Bill Patton, manager of store optimization at The Giant Company;
  • Bill Wollrab, founder of, an e-tailer dedicated to selling consumer goods that do good for the earth and more;
  • and manufacturers leading in sustainable production such as Club Coffee, Pacific Coast Producers, and Smile Beverage Werks, and thought leaders from Fair Trade, The Hartman Group, Consumer Brands Association, and the Leadership Solutions for Health and Prosperity program at Georgetown University and more.

Registration is free until Friday and available here.

In between virtual webinar sessions, attendees can virtually connect and network via the online platform.