Tractor Supply Co. Raises Bar for Sustainability

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Tractor Supply Co. Raises Bar for Sustainability

By Thad Rueter - 06/26/2020
Tractor Supply Co. Raises Bar for Sustainability
The past year has seen retailers such as Tractor Supply Co. more tightly embrace environmental issues.

As sustainability takes on more importance for consumers, retailers are striving to measure up to environmental expectations. The latest example of that comes from Tractor Supply Co., a Brentwood, Tennessee-based retailer whose consumer base is described as including recreational farmers, ranchers and all those who enjoy living the rural lifestyle.

According to the company's inaugural environmental, social and governance report, its water use declined 10.3% year over year in 2019. Tractor Supply also recycled 679,038 vehicle batteries; 88,544 gallons of oil; 17,560 tons of cardboard; and 3.3 million wood pallets last year.

The company additionally offered an update on community and diversity issues — both of them hot topics in the broader world of retail in 2020. Tractor Supply said that its workforce is 49% female, and that it has donated more than $8.5 million to community organizations.

“As a purpose-driven company, we believe that a healthy environment, vibrant communities and transparency of our corporate governance practices are keys to a secure and prosperous future, and we are dedicated to making further progress over time,” said President and CEO Hal Lawton. “In the midst of these unprecedented times, it has never been more important for us to work toward a more sustainable future.”

The report from Tractor Supply comes as Amazon moves to rename the Seattle stadium known as KeyArena to Climate Pledge Arena — going against the trend of retailers putting their own names on such structures after buying naming rights. Further, in another reflection of the sustainability trend, Netherlands-based multinational food retailer Ahold Delhaize earlier this year set new sustainability targets focused on accelerating efforts in areas where it can create the most value, including its store-brand portfolio.

Tractor Supply operates 1,863 stores in 49 states, and has 33,000 employees. The company also owns pet specialty retailer Petsense, which has 180 stores in 26 states.

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