September 20, 2021 – Ahold Delhaize is pleased to share that we have achieved an AA MSCI ESG rating. We have held an A rating for the past five years, which means that being upgraded to a AA is a great success. An MSCI ESG rating measures a company’s resilience to long-term environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and identifies industry leaders and laggards. Companies are rated according to their exposure and how well they manage those risks relative to peers.
With the AA rating, Ahold Delhaize falls into the second-highest scoring range for all companies assessed, indicating the company’s ESG practices are generally well-aligned with shareholder interests. It also means we’re a company leading its industry in managing the most significant ESG risks and opportunities.
The upgrade to AA reflects efforts by Ahold Delhaize and its local brands to mitigate risks, reduce carbon emissions, and ensure we have great diverse talent. All of these actions – small and large – have contributed to this ESG rating upgrade. And, more importantly, as the MSCI ESG ranking is the primary research tool and most widely used benchmark by investors, our ranking upgrade will further help investors to understand the importance we place on being a business that is fit for the future.
We are delighted with our AA rating and we know there is much more to be achieved. Our “elevate healthy and sustainable” and “cultivate best talent” growth drivers cover a large part of our ESG performance, but we also aim to embed ESG even more widely across our business by ensuring everyone throughout Ahold Delhaize and our brands is aware of its importance.
To reach our ambitions set in our growth drivers, we have committed to short- and long-term targets. These include striving to further increase healthy sales of our own-brand products, eliminate food and plastic waste, aim for 100% diverse and inclusive workplaces and reaching the science-based absolute reduction targets we have set for carbon emissions.
Our ESG ambitions and strategy are shaped by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), market knowledge from our great local brands and several ESG benchmarks, including the SAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment, MSCI, Sustainalytics and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). We also consider trends in our markets and around the world, feedback from our stakeholders, and how we align with global frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).