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Supervalu has earned a rating of “100” by the Human Rights Campaign's sixth annual Corporate Equality Index, which rates U.S. employers on their treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) employees, consumers and investors.

According to a statement released by the company, Supervalu “is the first U.S. grocery retailer to achieve the Index's highest score and is one of only 195 major U.S. companies to earn the top rating of 100 this year.”

Among the efforts that led to Supervalu’s perfect score:

• The company created a diversity and inclusion department to ensure the company is proactively addressing issues of diversity and inclusion, and named a vice president of diversity and inclusion to elevate the importance of the function and underscore the company's commitment to diversity values.

• The company launched a Corporate Diversity Council--a cross-functional team of senior leaders who meet on a regular basis to discuss and implement diversity and inclusion strategies, as well as increased its overall education, awareness-building and communications efforts.

• And Supervalu created a supplier diversity department with a dedicated staff of experts to form partnerships with minority firms.

“As a leading food retailer, it's critical that our company mirror our customer base--a richly woven tapestry of diverse cultures," said Jeff Noddle, the company’s chairman/CEO. "Embracing diversity and creating a culture of inclusion is a key component of our business strategy, and essential to achieving our goal of being the best place to work, shop and invest in the grocery retail industry."
KC's View:
Understanding that the world is both more diverse and pluralistic than ever before – in terms of consumers, suppliers and the workforce – is, in my view, one of the most important things that any business can do in the 21st century. But it’s just a first step – it is even more critical to act on that understanding.

Kudos to Supervalu for getting this right.