Company celebrates 10 years of progress towards aspirational sustainability goals at Milestone Meeting, announces new commitment to preserve wildlife habitat
BENTONVILLE, Ark., 2015-11-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — In front of an audience of associates, suppliers and nonprofit organizations at its Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting, Walmart today announced the completion of commitments to reduce 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its global supply chain, double fleet efficiency, and expanded an existing commitment to preserve wildlife habitat. The company also highlighted major progress around a pledge to develop a sustainable food system: the completion of several food and nutrition commitments and receipt of an award from Partnership for a Healthier America for its work to open stores in food deserts.
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“Today we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the launch of our sustainability agenda,” said Doug McMillon, president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “We’re proud to recognize the progress we continue to make every day, and we’re excited about what we hope to accomplish in the next ten years and beyond. Our company has made major strides since we embarked on this journey, and our focus for the next decade will remain the same: doing the right thing for our customers, our communities, people working in the supply chain and the planet. Our approach to global responsibility not only makes sense for the environment, but it’s also good for our customers, and our business.”
A decade ago, Walmart’s then-CEO Lee Scott set forth three aspirational goals outlining the company’s support for environment and people worldwide:
- To be supplied by 100% renewable energy;
2. Create zero waste;
3. Sell products that sustain people and the environment.
To ensure progress toward these goals, Walmart continually establishes ambitious commitments with definitive timelines, while collaborating with suppliers, nonprofits, industry experts and governments. Walmart today shared progress against several of these commitments:
- Eliminated 20 million metric tons of GHG emissions from its global supply chain. In 2010, Walmart announced its goal to eliminate 20 million metric tons of GHG emissions from its global supply chain by the end of 2015. Today, the company announced that it has exceeded this commitment early by eliminating 28.2 million metric tons to date, which is the equivalent of taking more than 5.9 million cars off the road for an entire year. Collaborating with EDF, Walmart has achieved this goal by implementing various innovative measures across both its global operations and those of suppliers, including enhanced energy efficiency, the execution of numerous renewable energy projects and collaborating with suppliers on the Sustainability Index to track progress towards reducing overall carbon footprint.
- Doubled fleet efficiency. In 2005, Walmart committed to doubling the efficiency of its fleet by the end of 2015. Today, the company shared that it has achieved this momentous goal by working with its associates to establish innovative solutions for loading, routing and driving techniques, as well as collaborating with tractor and trailer manufacturers on new technologies. With these new efficiencies, in this fiscal year alone, the company expects to save nearly $1 billion compared to a 2005 baseline, and avoid emissions of almost 650,000 metric tons of CO2. This contributes to a cleaner environment and lower prices for customers.
- Permanently preserved acres of wildlife habitat. Today Walmart announced it is renewing its conservation efforts by committing $35 million over the next ten years to Acres for America. Since 2005, Walmart, in collaboration with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, has helped preserve and restore more than 1 million acres of wildlife habitat through 61 projects in 33 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico through the Acres for America program. This commitment aims to permanently conserve at least one acre of priority wildlife habitat for every developed acre of the company’s current and future footprint, and has already dramatically exceeded the original commitment of 100,000 acres.
- Advanced the sustainability the company’s biggest product category. In keeping with the goal of selling products that sustain people and the environment, Walmart hascommitted to create a more sustainable food system. This commitment focused on four key pillars: improving food affordability; increasing access to food; making healthier eating easier; and improving safety and transparency in the supply chain. Today, Walmart announced the completion of several key food commitments under these pillars:
- Affordability: Beginning in 2011, Walmart committed to helping customers save on healthy food, including $1 billion in annual savings on fresh produce. The company has exceeded this commitment year over year, totaling over $4.69 billion in customer savings to date.
- Accessibility: In July, 2011, Walmart committed to opening up to 300 stores serving USDA-designated food deserts. By the end of January 2015, Walmart had exceeded this goal, a year earlier than planned, by opening 375 stores. Today Walmart is being recognized for those efforts as a recipient of the Partnership for a Healthier America Award.
- Health and Transparency: As part of its focus on making healthy eating easier, Walmart committed in 2011 to reduce sodium by 25 percent, added sugars by 10 percent and to eliminate industrially produced transfats in private label and national brand packaged foods sold in the company’s stores. So far, Walmart has reduced sodium in these products by more than 16 percent, reduced added sugars by over 10 percent and ensured that fewer than 6 percent of contain partially hydrogenated oils. Walmart also created a Great For You front-of-pack seal, which is now on more than 30 percent of the company’s private label products, to help customers easily identify more nutritious choices.
“While our journey is far from over, it’s clear that we are on the right path. Even as Walmart grows, we are continuing to leverage our scale and enhancing our supply chain for the good of people and the planet,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer for Walmart. “The progress we have achieved would not be possible without the passion and the hard work of associates across the company, as well as the partnership of our suppliers and the NGOs who have helped us drive our work forward.”
For more details and to watch the replay of Walmart’s Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting, please visit: http://news.walmart.com/events/fall-sustainability-milestone-meeting
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 260 million customers and members visit our 11,554 stores under 72 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2015 revenue of $485.7 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.
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SOURCE: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.