Why does it matter?

A safe work environment is fundamental, but the workplace should also offer opportunities for development and for a healthy life, as well as a true spirit of inclusiveness and diversity. Investing in health and inclusion programs increases morale and job satisfaction, creativity and innovation.

What we are doing

We strive to create a workplace that reflects the diversity of our communities, and contributes to the health and well-being of all associates. This is an environment where each person feels valued and inspired to develop to their full potential. It is an ambition that matches our values and helps us remain innovative and competitive.

A healthy workplace

Our healthy living programs for associates aim to make healthier choices easy: providing free fruit in a number of offices, educational programs on nutrition and weight loss, and smoke-free campuses are only a few of our initiatives. And healthy, aware associates can support customers in making healthier decisions in our stores, so the benefits stretch far beyond our own company. Many of our associates are also inspired to participate in local community-support health initiatives, making us a better neighbor.

An inclusive workplace

With more than 370,000 employees in 11 countries, our associates reflect the local communities we serve and the people we do business with. In 2017, we turned Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) from an HR concept into a tangible business goal. Our Global Diversity and Inclusion Network created a global framework to serve as a compass for our brands to use locally. This framework includes four key focus areas: 

  • Inclusive Workplace: Create a high-performing and inclusive work culture by promoting ownership and accountability for diversity at all levels in the organization.
  • Workforce Diversity: Attract, develop, engage and retain a diverse workforce that reflects our diverse customers.
  • Diversity Competency: Develop the necessary knowledge, understanding and capabilities to leverage diversity in individuals and teams, so they can better serve our diverse customers.
  • Employer Brand, Business Impact and Partnerships: Engage the organization in diversity and inclusion efforts for business success; share best practices internally and externally; enhance our image and reputation as the benchmark in D&I.

Some of our key initiatives include Unconscious Bias trainings and award-winning Business Resource Groups that actively engage associates in network opportunities, provide support, and influence policies.

Our D&I efforts are already earning recognition: in 2016, Delhaize America achieved 100%, and Ahold USA 95%, on the Human Rights Campaign index.

Following the merger, we did not set ourselves specific targets for 2016. We will measure our associates’ perception of the inclusiveness and healthiness of our workplaces in our 2017 Associate Engagement Survey, and use the results as our baseline until 2020.

We aim to improve the diversity of our workforce in many ways. One of the measures we track is gender diversity in our management positions. In 2016, 35% were filled by women.

For more details and other measures we have in place please see our reporting page

Our focus

We will continue to expand our many initiatives to embed health and inclusion in our workplace. To help our associates be the best they can be, we have started taking a more holistic and global approach to their well-being. Company-wide, in addition to healthier food opportunities and ambassadors, we are providing tools and training on how to recognize, minimize and handle stress.

Our internal D&I efforts will focus on increasing awareness of the dimensions of diversity - ranging from gender to religious beliefs, race, sexual orientation, geographic location and many more components. As an international organization, we often face cultural differences and challenges, but we aim to ensure our values are reflected in our behavior towards, opportunities for, and support of all our associates, wherever they are.

What did we do in 2016?

Below are some examples of what our brands are doing to create a healthy, inclusive and supportive work environment for associates of all backgrounds. 


Our efforts are aligned with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10’s 2030 target to empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status.