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Ahold Delhaize has announced that it has elevated its position as a world leader in the Food and Staples Retailing sector of the 2020 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World).

The retailer improved its score with 14 points compared to the 2019 score, receiving 83 out of 100, moving it above the industry average of 31 points.

This year marks the fifth consecutive year the company has been ranked among industry leaders.

The DJSI World benchmark cited Ahold Delhaize’s continued focus on healthier eating as one of the contributors to the improved score, along with the company’s efforts to further reduce its climate impact.

Examples included the retailer's Science Based Targets to halve carbon emissions, as well as the company’s climate impact scenarios.

In addition, the continued efforts of the Ahold Delhaize brands to improve their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance were seen as crucial in improving this year’s score.

“I’m proud that our industry-leading work continues to be recognised by the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index,' said Ahold Delhaize CEO Frans Muller. 'This improved score is a testament to the efforts and results of associates across Ahold Delhaize who continue to integrate our healthy and sustainable ambitions into all facets of our business.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of our commitments to enable healthier and more sustainable diets, as well as in supporting our local communities,' Muller added. 'We also believe that consumers want to increase their engagement with companies who demonstrate strong values. Therefore, our continued investments and initiatives to address this call to action in ESG matters are a key priority at Ahold Delhaize.

'I would also like to congratulate the other leaders in the World Index. Let’s work together on our joint ambition toward a healthier planet.”