Walmart makes sustainable progress

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Significant waste reduction and greater use of renewable energy are detailed in Walmart’s just-released fifth annual Global Responsibility Report (GRR). Entitled “Beyond 50 Years: Building a Sustainable Future,” the report highlights the chain’s global top 10 list of achievements to reduce its impact on the environment, improve efficiency in its supply chain and stores, and address social issues.

The study unveils data and progress against Walmart's three primary sustainability goals to use 100% renewable energy; create zero waste; and sell products that sustain people and the environment. The top 10 achievements highlighted in the report include:

  • Reduced waste by 80%: Walmart prevented 80.9% of the waste generated across all U.S. operations from going to landfills. Walmart achieved this by implementing its Zero Waste Program, which consists of recycling, donating and repurposing waste. Similar efforts are under way globally. ASDA, Walmart's U.K. operator, sends zero food waste to landfills, and Walmart stores in China and Brazil diverted 52% of operational waste from landfills.

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  • Utilized 1.1 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy: The U.S. EPA Green Power Partnership program now ranks Walmart as the second-largest onsite green power generator in the United States. Renewable energy projects provide 1.1 billion kWh annually, or about 4% of electricity for Walmart buildings globally.

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  • In addition, Walmart purchases another 18% from the grid for a total of 22% renewable electricity as of 2010. Walmart has 180 renewable energy projects in operation or under development, which use a diversity of innovative technologies, including solar power, fuel cells, micro-wind, and offsite wind projects.

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  • Nurtured diversity and inclusion: Walmart has continued to focus on making the company a workplace of opportunity. Fifty-three percent of 179,000 hourly promotions in U.S. stores were women and 200,000 female associates have been with Walmart for 10 years or longer. In the last five years in the United States, Walmart has increased female store managers by 46%.

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  • Expanded locally grown produce: By the end of 2011, Walmart increased the amount of locally grown produce sold by 97%, which accounts for more than 10% of all produce sold in U.S. stores.

To read the full report, click here.