We aspire to achieve zero waste in our operations globally, and we aim to achieve this by 2025 in four markets: Canada, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. This effort includes food waste.
The primary way we avoid food waste in our operations is by increasing the sell-through of food products. We have strengthened our forecasting and ordering tools to improve inventory flow, adjusted store fixtures to increase product turnover, enhanced distribution centers and offered discounts on food that is close to its expiration date. In FY2022, U.S. stores and clubs sold more than 190 million food units through food discount programs.
When food goes unpurchased, Walmart works to maximize its use by getting it to people and places that need it. In addition to donating food to food banks and other charities, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have donated funds to purchase equipment to increase the capacity of the charitable meal system to transport and deliver fresh food. In FY2022, we donated more than 696 million pounds of food in the U.S. alone.
Finally, if food is no longer edible, we work to convert it to animal feed, compost or energy. Our stores in Argentina, Canada, Chile, Japan, South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States, for example, send a portion of their food waste to anaerobic digestion plants, which break down the food into gases that can be used as fuel and fertilizers.
Beyond our own operations, we also engage our suppliers and customers in efforts to reduce food loss and waste. Through Project Gigaton, Walmart encourages our suppliers to measure and report food waste; introduce practices for reprocessing, donating and recycling; and standardize date labeling, in line with the Consumer Goods Forum’s Date Labeling Call to Action. We worked with our private brand suppliers to transition to “Best If Used By” date labels (unless a food safety or regulatory reason prevents it). We estimate that in FY2022, 91% of our Walmart U.S. private-brand food supplier-reported sales came from items carrying “Best if Used By” or “Use By” standardized date label.
In 2019, we joined the “10x20x30” initiative, in which the 10 largest food retailers each engage 20 of their priority suppliers to halve food loss and waste by 2030. 10x20x30 takes a whole supply chain approach, with retailers working to reduce in-store food loss and waste while supporting suppliers on similar efforts.