Today, Walmart joined forces with CEOs from more than a dozen global companies — including Kellogg, P&G, Monsanto, Campbell Soup, PepsiCo, General Mills and the Dairy Farmers of America — to sign new commitments that accelerate innovation in sustainable agriculture and recycling. The pledges kicked off Walmart’s inaugural Sustainable Product Expo, a three-day collaboration to expand the availability of products that sustain people and the environment. Together, the participating suppliers represent more than $100 billion in sales at Walmart.
“Walmart and our suppliers recognize that collaboration is the key to bringing sustainable solutions to all of our customers,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart Stores, Inc. “A great deal of innovative work is happening every day, but there are still too many gaps and missed opportunities. Today’s commitments are about creating real systems change from one end of the supply chain to the other — meaning how products are grown and made, how they’re transported and sold, and how we touch the lives of people along the way.”
Additionally, the companies — which also included Unilever, J&J, Keurig Green Mountain, Coca-Cola, Cargill and Goldman Sachs — joined Walmart and the Walmart Foundation in announcing plans to launch a groundbreaking recycling initiative called the Closed Loop Fund, with the goal of making recycling available to all Americans. The Fund aims to invest $100 million in recycling infrastructure projects and spur private and public funding for transforming the recycling system in the US.
- Together with P&G, Walmart have committed to a 25 percent reduction in water per dose for all liquid laundry detergent.
- In the area of fertilizer management, last year Walmart set a goal of optimizing 14 million acres of farmland with the potential to reduce seven million metric tons of GHGs. Combined with progress already made, the new pledges announced today will help advance that goal by optimizing an estimated 10 million acres and eliminating 8.5 million metric tons of GHGs.
- Working with Cargill, Walmart is developing a small-scale pilot focused on improved beef supply chain visibility, including increased traceability elements resulting in more visibility from farm to fork. This is part of Walmart’s goal to source 15 percent of its beef supply with environmental criteria by 2023.
- In collaboration with Conservation International and suppliers, Walmart has converted 27 percent of the palm oil used in its private-brand products from conventional to sustainable palm oil.
The Expo also included updates from EPA experts on sustainable chemistry and presentations by McKinsey and EDF on new tools suppliers can use to scale factory energy efficiency.
Walmart also previewed plans to create a sustainability store on its website**.** The shopping portal, expected to launch by the end of 2014, will allow customers to easily identify brands that are leading sustainability within a category via a special icon.
Walmart shoppers expect everyday low prices, but sustainability concerns are also important, according to a recent survey by Walmart’s Global Customer Insights and Analytics group. The survey found that 96 percent of Walmart shoppers indicated they have purchased sustainable products in the past year.
“No one should have to choose between products that are sustainable and products they can afford,” said Manuel Gomez, VP of sustainability for Walmart. “We want to make sustainability easy by taking the guesswork out of values-based shopping. Accessibility and transparency really put the customer in the driver’s seat.”
This new online tool for customers and other initiatives to drive sustainability across the supply chain are based on metrics from Walmart’s Sustainability Index. Since 2009, Walmart and many suppliers, stakeholders and competitors have worked with The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) to develop measurement and reporting systems for product sustainability, including the Index. The tools from TSC offer Walmart a common way to evaluate supplier performance and drive innovation. More than 700 product categories are now covered by the Index.
View a webcast of the Sustainable Product Expo.