Walmart: Our Seven Areas of Focus
No company has a greater potential to effect environmental change than Walmart.
- Every week, more than 176 million customers shop at Walmart's 5,300 stores.
- With $401 billion in revenue, the company is bigger than 160 nations.
- Walmart is China's eighth-largest trading partner, ahead of most countries.
Walmart's unparalleled size not only gives it a massive environmental footprint but also unparalleled potential to make huge environmental gains. Our goal in working with Walmart is to leverage what the retailer does best — creating efficient systems, driving change down though its supply chain and accessing a huge customer base — in order to dramatically advance environmental progress.
We began working with Walmart a year in advance of former CEO Lee Scott's announcement of a set of ambitious environmental goals. In October 2005 Scott called for Walmart:
- to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy,
- to create zero waste and
- to sell products that sustain our environment and resources.
Since then, we have engaged with Walmart on several issues central to our mission where the company can effect significant change: China, global warming, packaging, plastic bag waste, product life cycle, sustainable agriculture and toxic materials.
As the single largest U.S. importer of Chinese consumer goods and China's eighth-largest trading partner, Walmart has the leverage to drive significant environmental improvement in China. Our experts are focusing on improving environmental performance at the 30,000 Chinese factories that supply Walmart by identifying the biggest opportunities for improvement and creating demand for cleaner technology alternatives.
We are working with Walmart to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the chief pollutant that is warming our climate beyond natural levels. We recently negotiated a carbon reduction goal with Walmart and are developing and shaping the project that will enable Walmart to achieve its goal. This commitment will reduce the carbon footprint from the lifecycle of Walmart's products and supply chain by 20 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent from calendar year 2010 to 2015.
- Read more about our work with Walmart on global warming.
- View the webcast of this announcement on Treehugger.
- Visit Walmart’s Greenhouse Gas page for more details.
Walmart has launched a packaging scorecard tool to encourage suppliers to redesign product packaging to minimize environmental impacts. Our experts are assisting the retailer in creating and tracking metrics for understanding and communicating the overall solid waste, greenhouse gas, and environmental health impacts of these packaging changes. EDF is also working with Walmart to identify opportunities for environmentally beneficial packaging changes in Walmart's private label products.
Our experts are developing and piloting a new tool, GreenWERCS, as well as a new systems approach that allows Walmart and other retailers to identify chemicals of concern in consumer products and reformulate products to be safer and healthier for people and the planet.
Our team is working with Walmart to uncover the most serious environmental and social "hot spots" in the life cycle of Walmart's private brand food and grocery categories. As these "hot spots" are identified, we will work with suppliers to improve overall product sustainability.
We are working with Walmart to create a global strategy for improving food production and processing in order to enhance water quality and water efficiency.
Plastic Bag Waste
With our assistance, Walmart is driving reuse, reduction and recycling strategies for global plastic shopping bag waste. The company has set a goal to achieve an average 30 percent reduction in plastic bag waste per store and to eliminate more than 200 million pounds of plastic waste globally by 2013.