Company makes commitment to more sustainable packaging in the region
Wal-Mart Stores committed today to reduce phosphates in laundry and dish detergents in the Americas region by 70 percent by 2011. Wal-Mart also announced plans to accelerate its drive toward more sustainable packaging in the Americas region by reducing packaging by 5 percent by the end of 2013.
Phosphate compounds are a common water pollutant and can damage aquatic ecosystems by stimulating the growth of algae that depletes oxygen in the water for fish and plants. Phosphates from detergents are a significant contributor to phosphate-based water pollution.
“Our reach around the world puts us in a unique position to drive sustainable change across national boundaries and into the global supply chain,” said Craig Herkert, Wal-Mart president and CEO of the Americas. “By further coordinating efforts throughout the region and sharing best practices, we believe we can help our customers save money on the products they need, while improving communities and the environment.”
According to Matt Kistler, Wal-Mart senior vice president, sustainability, “It is exciting to see our international markets join efforts to drive sustainability progress. Together with governments, our suppliers and customers, we are making great strides in lessening our impact on the environment.”
Continuing its push toward more sustainable packaging, the company will bring its U.S. initiated packaging scorecard to the Americas by the end of 2009. The scorecard is a tool that helps Wal-Mart buyers make more informed purchasing decisions and helps move the company toward its goal of creating zero waste and dramatically increasing the number of environmentally friendly products. As a part of this initiative, Wal-Mart will launch a Sustainable Value Network (SVN) to focus on reduced packaging in each market. The SVN will bring together leaders from Wal-Mart, supplier companies, academia, government and non-governmental organizations to explore challenges and develop solutions that benefit our business and our communities.
The announcements were made during the company’s quarterly sustainability milestone meeting, held to track company progress on a number of environmental fronts. Wal-Mart suppliers and associates from around the world attended the event at the Wal-Mart Home Office in Bentonville and watched via webcast. Attendees also heard from world renowned architect and designer Bill McDonough on the importance of product and supply chain innovation.
After Wal-Mart’s U.S. business, Wal-Mart Americas is the company’s second largest business unit. It includes Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Central America, Brazil and Argentina, has more than 2,300 stores in 10 markets and employs more than 364,000 associates.
NOTE: The complete sustainability milestone meeting can be viewed at walmartstores.com/milestone