Walmart Sustainable Product Expo Gathers Top CEOs to Renew Sustainability Commitments

Our first-ever Sustainable Product Expo begins today, and it’s a great opportunity for Walmart showcase some of the work we’re doing in product sustainability. What’s even more exciting is that it’s a chance for Walmart to collaborate with some of the largest companies in the world to sign new commitments that accelerate innovation in recycling and sustainable agriculture.

Eight of the largest food companies announced pledges to help ensure that tomorrow’s food supply is affordable and sustainable for the nine billion people projected to inhabit the planet by 2050. The commitments aim to drive more collaboration and efficiency across the current food system.

Additionally, companies joined with 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.

And these commitments are coming from the top; the CEOs from these companies and organizations — including EDF, Procter& Gamble, PepsiCo, and Campbell Soup Company — are in attendance because they truly believe in the work that Walmart has done, and want to be a big part of it in the future.

Here’s what they had to say:

Environmental Defense Fund
"It is good news that so many prominent CEO's have stepped up and made commitments to reduce GHG's and make their supply chains more sustainable, and EDF looks forward to seeing real progress in the days ahead -- because follow-through is what matters most. We are very proud of our partnership with Walmart, which led to the aggressive 20MMT goal, and we'll be even prouder on the day the company announces it has reached that goal. We know our colleagues at Walmart feel the same way. We are results-oriented organizations -- and strong results begin with the commitments that were made today." – Fred Krupp, president

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
“This partnership highlights the powerful potential of private capital to encourage more efficient use of our resources while spurring local job creation and community engagement. We are excited to be working with leading companies who are committed to developing market-based solutions that can address critical societal and environmental issues in innovative ways.” - John Weinberg, vice chairman and co-head of the Investment Banking Division

Campbell Soup Company
“At Campbell, we seek to make a positive, sustainable impact in the world through our primary purpose – real food that matters for life’s moments. Campbell has a heritage of environmental stewardship that is deeply rooted in our belief that we have a responsibility to nourish the health of our communities and conserve the Earth’s natural resources for future generations. We look forward to working with Walmart, our industry peers and suppliers in optimizing sustainable agriculture and creating efficiencies that strengthen local economies, provide access to affordable and healthy food and benefit the planet.” - Denise Morrison, president and CEO

Kellogg Company
“Because rice is one of our largest ingredient purchases – used for Rice Krispies and Special K worldwide – it’s appropriate that our new partnership with Walmart focuses on helping smallholder rice growers improve their practices and livelihoods, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” – John Bryant, president and CEO 

General Mills
“For the global food system, the challenge is clear: How do we produce more food for the world’s growing population and conserve and protect the natural resources and communities upon which our business depends? In response to this challenge, General Mills announced in 2013 our commitment to sustainably source 100 percent of our 10 priority ingredients by 2020 – representing more than 50 percent of our annual raw material purchases. Today’s joint commitment with Walmart builds on these efforts to advance sustainable agriculture and create long-term value for society, the environment, and business.” – Ken Powell, chairman and CEO

“Agriculture is at the center of some of the world’s most pressing challenges from meeting rising global demands to conserving precious natural resources like soil and water,” said Hugh Grant, Chairman and CEO of Monsanto Company. “But given the right tools, farmers have the opportunity to be at the forefront of solutions to grow even more safe, affordable, nutritious and sustainable food for all of us around the world. That’s why the people of Monsanto are proud to partner with our customers to continue to innovate and improve nutrient use efficiency on 1 million acres of US cropland in support of this effort. Farmers are good stewards of the land today and with continued investments in innovation, can accomplish even more in the future.” - Hugh Grant, chairman and CEO

Coca-Cola North America
“Because Coca-Cola views packaging as a valuable resource, we are developing initiatives to recover and reuse our packaging. Investing in innovative programs like Walmart’s Closed Loop Fund provides more communities with access to recycling infrastructure, while decreasing the materials deposited in landfills.” – Sandy Douglas, president

“We’re pleased that, together with Walmart, we’ll be expanding PepsiCo’s Sustainable Farming Initiative (SFI) to cover 500,000 acres under sustainable management practices in North America.  The SFI, which was developed collaboratively with stakeholders, establishes a clear and universal standard for defining, implementing and quantifying sustainable agriculture.  Integral to this partnership is joint action to develop and encourage adoption of low-carbon fertilizers, a key element of sustainable farming practices. We are also honored to join Walmart and industry partners in creating The Closed Loop Fund, an innovative funding mechanism to support and scale initiatives to increase recycling rates across the United States.” - Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO

Procter & Gamble
 “The “Closed Loop Fund” is an innovative step to enable local municipalities to invest in ways to increase local recycling to give more consumers consistent and reliable ways to reduce waste by recycling more of their everyday products.  That will, in turn, enable a larger supply of usable, recyclable content, which will enable manufactures to give consumers what they want - more packaging with recycled materials.  This is good for consumers, and good for the environment.” - A.G. Lafley, chairman of the board, president, and CEO

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Family of Companies
“Babies hold a special place in our hearts at Johnson & Johnson. Our Babies Will Inherit Our Planet® and that’s why we’ve always been committed to caring for our natural resources. We launched our Care to Recycle® campaign to raise awareness of recycling, particularly in the bathroom where most of our products are used. We are thrilled to be a founding member of the Closed Loop Fund which will help bring recycling to more American households.” - Roberto Marques, company group chairman, North America

Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. 
“Our target to make 100 percent of our K-Cup® packs for Keurig® brewing systems recyclable by 2020 is multi-faceted.  Part of accomplishing this target requires changes to the recycling infrastructure that Keurig Green Mountain can’t address alone.  This collective approach brings to life the power of partnerships, which is one of our core company values.  We share the commitment of our peers to explore solutions together in the quest to use our products and our business to impact the world in a positive way.” – Brian Kelley, president and CEO 

SC Johnson
“We’re honored to join Walmart and others in the pursuit of real progress in waste reduction.”  – Fisk Johnson, chairman and CEO

“At Unilever we’ve put sustainable living at the heart of our business model – through our brands, innovation, sourcing and operations.  While we are making progress, the environmental, social, and economic issues we face as a society are far too complex for any individual, company, or government to tackle alone. The Closed Loop Fund is a great example of how we can drive transformational change through partnership. We’re excited to join forces as an industry to address the challenge of increasing recycling rates.” - Kees Kruythoff, president, North America 

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Meet the Families Behind Our Grass-Fed Beef

They say you are what you eat.

When we shop to feed our families, we’re especially concerned with what’s in the food we’re buying and where it came from. Thanks to two cattle ranching families who came together years ago to farm grass-fed beef in Utah and Wyoming, we’re able to provide this option – our Marketside Butcher brand – at over 2,000 of our stores.

It’s important to do business with people who care about their customers as much as we do. Working with Jones Creek, that care is obvious. The Crandall family has been farming cattle on their ranches in Utah and Wyoming for over five generations, and they’re committed to a product that’s as natural as it is tasty.

Check out this video to see why they believe in producing beef with no added hormones or antibiotics, but lots of passion and care.

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Bringing You a Perfect – and Sustainable – Cup of Joe

Having a good cup of coffee is a morning ritual for most of us. There’s nothing like the aroma of that first cup.

At Walmart, we are working to provide a range of coffee product options that are affordable, high-quality and that build trust with our customers.

One way we’re doing this is by sourcing third-party certified sustainably-grown coffee for products sold in our stores and clubs. For example, we are proud to sell merchandise with Rainforest Alliance Certified seals. These seals indicate that, according to the standards set by the Sustainable Agriculture Network, certain products were grown with care by farmers working to build sustainable livelihoods and thriving communities.

We also are the first major North American retailer to join Conservation International’s Sustainable Coffee Challenge. The Sustainable Coffee Challenge is a collaborative effort of companies, governments, non-governmental organizations, research institutions and others seeking to advance sustainability efforts in the coffee sector. In joining The Challenge, Walmart set a goal to purchase all of its private brand coffee sustainably by the end of 2020. We know our customers are looking for sustainable options, and when they enjoy the aroma of our private brand coffee, we want to be able to meet their expectations.

As a retailer, we value the men and women who produce the products our customers want, and we expect our suppliers to provide workers with safe and healthy working conditions. Earlier this year, Walmart reinforced this expectation at the first convening of the World Coffee Producers Forum in Medellin, Colombia. During my remarks at the forum, I spoke to coffee sector representatives about how we can create a more equitable value chain that benefits customers, workers and businesses.

During a recent tour of the La Miranda Farm on the outskirts of Medellin, Colombia, we had the privilege to speak with Gonzalo Valencia – a passionate coffee grower with more than 30 years of experience. Mr. Valencia provided valuable insights on some of the challenges and opportunities that exist in the coffee value chain. Multiple generations of Mr. Valencia’s family have worked as coffee growers, much like scores of other growers throughout Latin America and Africa who have contributed to our Great Value Classic Roast and Sam’s Choice Colombia Supremo coffee blends.

Our engagement with coffee bean growers such as Mr. Valencia and other cultivators around the world gives us important insights on how we can assist them and improve the sustainability of coffee production.

By selling products with certifications and incorporating feedback from coffee growers, we are working to make our coffee value chain effective and sustainable for everyone, from the farmers to our customers and that first delicious sip in the morning.



The Opioid Epidemic Has Changed Safe Disposal of Prescriptions

The opioid epidemic is as serious of a drug crisis as America’s ever seen. It’s so deep-reaching that nearly every community has felt its effects.

And while prescription pain medications are an appropriate treatment option for some, the reality is that unchecked supplies in the public pose a significant health concern. Just as prescription drugs should be prescribed carefully, they must be stored and disposed of carefully.

Providing a means for proper drug disposal is a fundamental way Walmart can help. Today, we announced a new, free, convenient solution for responsible opioid disposal, DisposeRx. It’s a first-of-its-kind solution and I’m so proud of our team and the work they’ve done to bring this simple means of disposal to our patients.

We know the person who was prescribed a prescription opioid medication isn’t always the only one who is at risk for misuse. This innovative option for medication disposal will help keep families and communities healthy, and DisposeRx is one more way we can make a difference.

Here are a few more reasons why we wanted to help with this critical issue.

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CEO Doug McMillon's Note to Associates on Tax Savings

Happy New Year! I hope you and your families had a great holiday season. Thank you so much for all your efforts to serve our customers during our busiest time of the year. I know there were many smiling faces on Christmas morning and throughout the season because of you. Thank you for serving them so well and for helping each other to do it as a team.

We’ve got some really good news to share today. As you know, the President and Congress have approved a lower business tax rate. Given these changes, we have an opportunity to accelerate a few pieces of our investment plan. We plan to continue investing in you, in our customers through lower prices, and in our future--especially in technology to help improve your jobs and the experience for our customers.

So, we’re pleased to tell you that we’re raising our starting wage to $11 an hour for Walmart U.S., Sam’s Club, Supply Chain, eCommerce and Home Office hourly associates effective in February.

We’re also providing a one-time bonus to hourly associates that pays a larger amount the longer you’ve been with our company. Associates that don’t benefit from the new starting wage increase are eligible for the bonus and it will range from $200 to $1,000 depending on your length of service. As an associate who’s been with the company more than 25 years, I understand the value of experience and we all appreciate those of you that have helped build this company over the years.

I’m also excited to tell you that we’re making an important change to benefits by expanding our paid leave policy to provide full-time hourly associates with 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave. This expanded parental leave also applies to salaried associates and to parents who adopt. We will also contribute $5,000 to the cost of adoption. I recently heard from two associates on this topic—one through an open door note and one at a town hall. Both pointed out how limited our policy was for adoptive parents so we’re happy to be addressing that concern now. Families are a priority to us and connecting with and caring for a new family member is obviously important.

As we look to the future and how we’ll win with customers, we’ll be assessing what additional investments are needed, and we’ll make those decisions with you, our customers, and our shareholders in mind.

Thanks again for everything you do. I’m proud of our progress and we have momentum. Let’s build on that in 2018!