The power of working together

People expect big things from Walmart. And while we recognize our responsibility and opportunity to lead, we also recognize one important idea: What Walmart can do alone is significant, but what we can do together is even better.

With environmental sustainability in particular, this concept is key, and it’s been central to how we’ve approached our work from the beginning. We work with our suppliers, we listen to our customers, we learn from our associates and we engage with leaders. Significantly, we also collaborate with nongovernmental organization (NGOs) and nonprofit organizations on a number of issues.

NGOs provide guidance and expertise – and they hold us accountable. These organizations have pushed us to make bold commitments and helped us deliver on them.

I have worked at the intersection between business and the environment for the past 15 years, most recently at World Wildlife Fund (WWF). It is through this experience that I understand the value that NGOs can bring to bear on some of the world’s most pressing challenges. A core part of my role is to build strategic alliances and establish public-private partnerships that can deliver value and global impact at scale. Fortunately, Walmart has long standing relationships with many of the leading NGOs who can help us do just that.

At our Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting last month, Peter Seligmann, Chairman and CEO of Conservation International (CI), talked about his experiences with Walmart when we first began our sustainability journey 10 years ago. And CI is one of many NGOs with whom we’ve cultivated a close working relationship.

For example, we were the first corporation to work with CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) to establish an emissions strategy for our entire supply chain – which encompasses more than 100,000 suppliers across a diversity of sectors around the world. This partnership comprises an integral part of our goal to eliminate 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from our global supply chain by the end of 2015. Together, we are working with suppliers who provide us all types of products – from toothpaste to lawn mowers and video games – to measure, manage, reduce and report their impact on climate change.

We’ve also spent seven years working closely with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to drive environmentally sustainable practices throughout our supply chain and set new priorities for collaboration, such as sustainable chemistry. In particular, EDF and Walmart are focusing on a global strategy for improving food production and processing in order to mitigate climate impacts and enhance water quality and water efficiency. Most recently, we’ve been addressing fertilizer use. With groceries accounting for half of our sales at Walmart U.S., it’s no wonder that agriculture is a massive opportunity in the area of sustainability. In fact, fertilizer use is responsible for nearly half of Walmart’s carbon footprint in our supply chain. Together with EDF, we are targeting 15 million acres of farmland – comprising 30 percent of food and beverage sales in North America – for optimizing fertilizer practices, which could ultimately avoid 7 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions as well as improve waterways and soil health.

So, how do we form these relationships? It happens both formally and informally. For instance, we have established a working group who meets every other month, which includes several leading NGOs, such as CDP, CI, EDF, World Resources Institute and WWF. We also develop annual operating plans to define how we are engaging across areas of mutual interest and to scope out emerging opportunities for collaboration.

No matter how these relationships take shape, we rely on our partners to share their knowledge, expertise and perspectives with us, and we’re very excited about the progress they have helped us make. But we, as a company, certainly don’t have all the answers – and we alone can’t make the social and environmental changes that will help ensure a sustainable future for our business and for the planet. To really drive change at scale across the retail industry, multiple entities must pull in the same direction and work together in ways that we haven’t done in the past.

As we at Walmart continue to pursue our big goals, we will also work toward strengthening our relationships with the NGO community. Together, we will keep exploring ways our company can uniquely make a difference – but more importantly, how we can be one of many contributors toward a more sustainable shared future.


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Expanding Your Marketplace of Products on

The internet changed how we shop. It brought the store to our screens. More and more, when it comes to finding the exact product that we want at the best possible price, we search and buy online.

When you visit, my team and I work hard to make sure you can find what you need, every single day. One way we do that is through our Marketplace sellers.

What is Marketplace? I like to explain it like this: Imagine you’re in a shopping mall, and instead of visiting lots of different stores to find what you want, everything you’re looking for is in one store. What’s more, you’ve got a personal shopper helping sort through all the options, morphing the shelves as your preferences change, to find your perfect item at the perfect price.

That’s what’s happening behind the scenes when you visit When you search for an item, not only do you see options from’s own inventory – your search likely brings up choices from third-party sellers, too. These are third-party sellers that we’ve chosen to work with because they offer a great selection of products at a great price.

Marketplace makes it easier for customers to find a wider range of the items we sell in stores, plus some other brands you might not find at a store, like Toms and Vans shoes.

Since this time last year, we’ve grown the number of Marketplace sellers by more than 30 times. This has helped us triple our assortment on since last year, with more than 20 million items today, and growing.

One of our highest priorities in developing the Marketplace is ensuring the quality of our overall customer experience. We reach out to customers to learn about their experiences, and we’re proactive about checking data to see where we can help Marketplace sellers improve their performance to go above and beyond.

We’ll continue to focus on our Marketplace sellers as they help us help you find exactly what you need. This is just one way is working to make your online shopping experience better across the board.

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How Acres for America is Maintaining the Majestic Midwest

For generations, Midwesterners have retreated to the Arcadia Dunes preserve – an oasis along Lake Michigan – to connect with nature, climb the sand peaks and take in the enormity of America’s third-largest lake.

The 3,600-acre property, also known as the C.S. Mott Nature Preserve, offers public access to one of the largest remaining natural areas along Lake Michigan. There, visitors can partake in some of the Midwest’s best opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, birding and snowshoeing.

Back in 2003, the property’s owners planned to develop the land into a golf-course community with hundreds of homes and condominiums.

“That would have had a domino effect,” said Glen Chown, longtime executive director of the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, which owns and manages the property. “The development would have led to hundreds of additional homes nearby. Farming would have most likely been pushed out. There would be no public access anywhere.”

The conservancy led a massive campaign to raise more than $30 million to acquire Arcadia Dunes and secure conservation easements on other nearby properties. People rallied to the cause.

Through a combination of gifts large and small, the conservancy and its conservation partners raised nearly all of the required funds. To close the last gap, the conservancy applied for and in 2006 was awarded a $500,000 grant from Acres for America, a collaboration between Walmart and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

“The Acres for America grant helped us at a time when we had pretty much exhausted every opportunity,” Chown said. “Acres was our closer.”

Acres for America began in 2005, when Walmart made its first commitment of $35 million to purchase and preserve one acre of wildlife habitat in the United States for every acre of land developed by the company – approximately 100,000 acres as of today. The Arcadia Dunes project was one of the program’s earliest grants.

Ten years after the Arcadia Dunes grant was awarded, Acres for America has far surpassed its original goal with more than 1 million acres protected – an area comparable in size to Grand Canyon National Park. In November 2015, Walmart and NFWF announced a 10-year, $35 million renewal of the program.

By offsetting the land Walmart needs to operate with far more valuable land – both to wildlife and to people – the Acres for America program is making a real difference in the quality of life for local communities across the nation.

The preservation of places such as Arcadia Dunes show why Acres for America has become one of the most successful public-private conservation efforts in American history.

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The Pumpkin Spy: Your Handpicked Guide to a Seasonal Favorite

When I was a kid, pumpkins were for carving, baking into pies, or … well, that’s about it. Now, there are hundreds of pumpkin-flavored foods and pumpkin-scented products on the market.

According to Nielsen data, last year, 37% of U.S. consumers purchased a pumpkin-flavored product, and sales from pumpkin-flavored products grew 79% between 2011 and 2015. Luckily, I have combed through the shelves to find the latest and greatest #pumpkinspice products available at your local Walmart.

From breakfast foods to home goods, there is enough to keep your pantry stocked at least until you are ready to move on peppermint in December. Obviously, there are a lot of coffee-related products, but even if you aren’t a coffee drinker, there is a pumpkin spice product for you.

Pumpkin Spice Cheerios
Take one of America’s most popular cereals and combine it with the fairy tale magic of pumpkin spice. My only question: What took you guys so long?

Quaker Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal
Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal will make an excellent comfort food on a chilly autumn morning, while you’re snuggled in a big comfy chair, trying to remember why you got out of bed in the first place.

Fresh-Fall Pumpkin Febreze Air Effects
To get insight into the proliferation of pumpkin items beyond food, I spoke to Tifanie Van Laar-Wagner, Walmart’s senior buyer for air care products. “Customers see pumpkin as a signal to the beginning of family gatherings and celebrations of the season,” she said.

Lindt Lindor Pumpkin Spice Truffles
Milk chocolate + pumpkin spice = <3

Thomas Pumpkin Spice English Muffins
Just add a bit of butter and honey, and you’ve made your regular breakfast feel indulgent and – dare I say – hip!

Little Debbie Pumpkin Spice Rolls
You know that great pumpkin bread that someone in your office makes around the holidays? It’s like that, only smaller.

Predictions for fall 2017: pumpkin spice deodorant, pumpkin spice popsicles, and pumpkin spice oil changes at our Auto Care Center (just kidding). As you can see, when it comes to pumpkin spice, there’s a proliferation of possibilities.

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Meet Your Holiday Helpers for a Fast, Friendly Checkout

As the holidays grow nearer, our shopping lists begin to lengthen.

Among the party essentials, children’s wishes and groceries, there’s one precious item many of us find ourselves wanting at the same time: a few extra moments in our schedules.

While the gift of time isn’t something that can be plucked off the shelves, there’s one way we’re working to ensure you can find it this year at Walmart. It’s introducing our Holiday Helpers, who will be helping to grant you a few extra minutes all season.

Decked out in bright yellow vests, jingling hats and a colorful satchel full of goodies, our Holiday Helpers will be stationed near the registers to provide an extra fast, friendly checkout experience. When lines are looking long, a Helper will open a new line to serve customers and help get everyone out the door in a snap.

Even better: If you’re in line, and you happen to remember a last-minute item you forgot, like milk, they’ll go and pick it up for you.

The idea to introduce Holiday Helpers came from customer feedback and Walmart’s store associates paying close attention to shoppers’ habits. As more customers shop during peak hours, Holiday Helpers step in with a smile to enhance the checkout experience, helping ensure that everyone can pay and be on their way quickly.

Customers will start seeing Holiday Helpers in stores beginning Nov. 4, and a new 30-second commercial that’s set to air in the coming days will offer a taste of what’s to come.

It’s our hope that these new helpers will become busy customers’ heroes when it comes to squeezing a little extra time out of a packed schedule this season.

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