Environmental

Redwood forest
A beautiful redwood forest
Environmental Highlights

Environmental Highlights

  • Globe with leaf
    Walmart and Sam’s Club
    U.S. suppliers
    have improved their
    Sustainability Index scores by
    28%
    compared to 20162
  • downward graph with leaf
    6.1%
    reduction in Scopes 1 and 2 annual greenhouse gas emissions in 2017 compared with 20153
  • recycling icon
    78%
    of waste diverted from
    landfills and incineration4
  • Hand with Chart icon
    As of the end of FY2019,
    we achieved a supplier participation rate in
    the Sustainability Index
    that covers
    80%
    of the goods we sell in
    U.S. Walmart stores and
    Sam’s Club locations
    for categories where the Sustainability Index is available
  • Windmills icon
    An estimated
    28%
    of electricity from
    renewable sources5

Our Environmental Goals


PRIORITIES

MAJOR PUBLIC GOALS

Climate change

Achieve an 18% emissions reduction in our own operations by 2025, compared to a 2015 baseline.

By 2030, work with suppliers to reduce or avoid carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions from Scope 3 by 1 gigaton from global value chains.

Be powered by 50% renewable sources by 2025.

In FY2017, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation pledged $25 million in cash and in-kind donations to support disaster preparedness and relief through 2020.

Sustainable supply chain

More sustainably source 20 key commodities by 2025.

Waste

As of February 2019, we have committed to work with our U.S. private brand suppliers to:

  • Achieve 100% recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable packaging in all Walmart private-brand products by 2025.
  • Target at least 20% post-consumer recycled content in private-brand packaging by 2025.
  • Label 100% of food and consumable private-brand packaging with the How2Recycle® label by 2022.

For more details about our progress on these environmental goals please read further and refer to the ESG commitments & progress chart in the back of this report.

Climate Change

Quick Facts

  • Asset 12.svg
    First retailer to announce a sciencebased target to reduce greenhouse gases in alignment with the Paris Agreement
  • Asset 11.svg
    A- on 2018 CDP climate change disclosure
  • downward graph with leaf
    6.1% reduction in Scopes 1 and 2 annual greenhouse gas emissions in 2017 compared with 20157
  • Asset 14.svg
    Carbon intensity8 (Scopes 1 and 2 per revenue): 37.3 metric tons (MT) CO2e/$1 million in FY2018, a decrease of 7.2% from FY20179
  • Asset 8.svg
    Electric vehicle chargers available at 110 retail locations across 29 states
  • GI icon
    Under Project GigatonTM, we aim to work with suppliers to avoid 1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases from the global value chain by 2030 (Scope 3)
  • Asset 10.svg
    To date, more than 1,000 suppliers have formally signed on to Project Gigaton
  • Asset 7.svg
    In 2018 alone, more than 380 suppliers reported avoided
    CO2e emissions totaling
    58,904,206 MT10
  • Asset 9.svg
    In the first two years of Project Gigaton, suppliers reported avoided CO2e emissions totaling 93,656,639 MT11

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), human-caused greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are the leading contributor to rising global temperatures and other signs of climate change. To avoid the worst effects of climate change, the Paris Agreement calls for collective action across society to limit global temperature increases to between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius.

At Walmart, we are focused on reducing emissions in our operations, engaging suppliers to reduce emissions in supply chains, strengthening the resilience of our business and using our voice to advocate for collective action.

Climate change impact scenario analysis

To better understand the nature of climate change and potential implications for the retail sector, we conducted a climate scenario analysis, working with an independent third-party consultant; we aimed to align with the scenario guidance set forth by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

FIELD - PERU - IMG_0852.jpg

The analysis considered two scenarios for global warming: 2° C (the upper end of the range targeted by the Paris Agreement) and 4° C (often called “business as usual”). Each scenario looked out to the years 2030 and 2050, making assumptions about four climate variables: temperature, drought/water stress, extreme weather events and sea level. The analysis modeled potential effects of these variables on aspects of retail business operations such as store heating and cooling requirements; crop yields (e.g., bananas, corn, lettuce, tomatoes, wheat, cotton); and storm damage to stores and distribution centers. The analysis made many simplifying assumptions. For example, each variable was considered in isolation. The analysis did not consider second- or third-order effects. It also did not consider potentially offsetting impacts of new technologies, mitigating actions or new business opportunities. While the limitations of the analysis mean that it can’t be used to predict net long-term impact on financials or business operations, it nevertheless helped to validate our current business strategies and initiatives for energy demand, commodity sourcing, value chain innovation, water management and resiliency. We discussed the analysis with teams across our business and the Nominating and Governance Committee of the Walmart Board. For more information on this analysis, please see our 2018 CDP climate change disclosure.

Climate change mitigation

We believe mitigating the effects of climate change will require collective action to reduce GHG emissions. Because most emissions in the retail sector lie in product supply chains rather than in stores and distribution centers, we have committed to pursue substantial emissions reduction not only in our own operations but also across product supply chains, by catalyzing and supporting initiatives among suppliers, NGOs, customers and others at scale.

Sustainable operations

We have set a science-based target12 to reduce GHG emissions in our own operations (Scopes 1 and 2) by 18% by 2025 (compared with 2015 levels) through multiple initiatives. These include increasing the energy efficiency of our buildings, aiming to power 50% of our operations with renewable energy by 2025, improving the performance of our refrigeration systems and maximizing the sustainability of our fleet. We are on track to meet our goals. As of 2017, we had reduced emissions by 6.1% compared with 2015 levels.13 Also, renewable sources supplied an estimated 28% of our electricity needs globally;14 this includes generation from more than 520 projects across eight countries, 18 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. Based on our pipeline of solar and wind projects, we expect to source 35% of our electricity from renewables by 2020.

Annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Carbon Intensity

Project Gigaton™

Beyond our direct operations, we aim to galvanize transformative action through Project Gigaton, a global effort that invites suppliers to join us in a commitment to avoid 1 billion metric tons of emissions in our collective value chains by 2030. Launched in 2017, Project Gigaton engages suppliers in setting targets and pursuing initiatives to avoid emissions in any of six areas where there are opportunities to do so: energy use, sustainable agriculture, waste, deforestation, packaging and product use.

We worked with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on the overall concept and design, as well as the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Conservation International (CI), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) and CDP to connect suppliers to measurement methodologies, guidance and practical tools to help them reduce emissions. The program builds upon lessons learned from initiatives Walmart has undertaken with suppliers and NGOs in the past, such as our 20 million metric ton initiative.

Project Gigaton is the biggest and best example of a company encouraging its suppliers to be part of the solution to climate change. Through Walmart’s scale, collaboration and innovation, it continues to lead the way on actions that create both business and environmental value.
FRED KRUPP | PRESIDENT, EDF

Walmart established an external review process to support continual improvement of the methodologies to account for avoided emissions from Project Gigaton. A steering committee with subcommittees of technical experts from CDP, EDF, SPC, WWF and others lead the review process. To learn more about the platform, tools, resources and measurement methodology visit Project Gigaton on the Walmart Sustainability Hub.

The farm

We are currently on track to achieve our gigaton goal. To date, more than 1,000 suppliers have formally signed on to the project. In 2018 alone, 382 suppliers reported avoiding 58,904,20617 MT of emissions, totaling 93,656,63918 MT toward the 1 gigaton target in the first two years of the program. We encourage suppliers to set specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-bound (“SMART”) goals, because we believe they lead to substantially better results over time; to date, 47% of Project Gigaton suppliers have set such goals.

In the coming year, we plan to focus on attracting additional suppliers and broadening the scope of initiatives across programmatic areas. While the program is on track, nearly 80% of reported avoided emissions were related to energy (under the Energy or Product Use action areas). Fewer have made commitments related to Deforestation or Sustainable Agriculture, where success requires influencing a disparate set of actors far upstream in the supply chain, addressing interdependencies and barriers in complex social and economic systems, and gaining alignment with others regarding methodologies for measurement and action. We are working with suppliers and non- governmental organizations (NGOs) to support the development of tools to enable some improvement in these areas.

Project Gigaton action areas

Suppliers can make commitments and pursue initiatives in one or more of six areas:

1. Energy

We encourage suppliers to avoid energy-related emissions in two ways: first, reduce energy demand through optimization and efficiency; and second, to transition to energy sources that are renewable and emit little to no carbon. At the close of FY2019, our suppliers reported avoiding 25.2 million MT of emissions through work on energy.

The Walmart Factory Energy Efficiency Program (FEEP) is an example of how practical tools can facilitate emissions reductions in supply chains. Through FEEP, we promote the use of McKinsey & Company’s Resource Efficiency Deployment Engine (RedE), a web-based tool designed to help suppliers identify, prioritize and implement energy efficiency projects. At the close of FY2019, more than 940 factories had joined the RedE system; active users report saving more than $29 million in annual operating expenses and avoiding 199,854 MT of annual CO2e emissions.

2. Waste

Food, product and material waste in factories, warehouses, distribution centers and farms contribute to GHG emissions. Reducing and diverting waste from landfills can increase operating efficiency and lower costs. We encourage suppliers to reduce or eliminate waste from their operations, address post-harvest losses on farms, standardize date labeling, extend product shelf life and educate customers about preventing food waste. Through philanthropy, we have also made investments to assess and reduce waste in food production and distribution. For example, the Walmart Foundation provided funding to the World Resources Institute to implement and accelerate adoption of their Food Loss and Waste Protocol, a publicly available approach to measure food waste and loss. See the Waste section of this report for more information on our efforts to reduce waste in our operations and product value chains.

3. Packaging

Project Gigaton invites suppliers to avoid emissions — as well as drive down waste — by reducing unnecessary packaging, optimizing packaging materials and increasing the reuse and recycling of packaging.

Walmart is taking specific aim at plastics, with expanded waste reduction commitments for our U.S. private brands — commitments that are expected to impact an estimated 30,000 items for sale. Read more about our work to address plastic packaging in our value chain in the Waste section of this report.

One example of progress: In FY2019, more than 800 Walmart private label suppliers signed up for the How2Recycle® label (compared with only 100 in FY2018), and more than 16,000 Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) received the How2Recycle label.

4. Agriculture

By pursuing and encouraging suppliers to adopt best practices in areas such as manure management, enteric emissions, feed inputs and other activities in animal agriculture, along with fertilizer optimization in crop production, we estimate there is a potential to impact 20% to 30% of our Project Gigaton GHG emissions goal by 2030 while reducing waste and improving yield.

We have been working with many of our suppliers to support efforts to reduce emissions through fertilizer optimization. Collectively, suppliers have committed 36 million acres of land in these programs. Additionally, as part of our engagement with the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative, we supported the enrollment of over 140 demonstration farms in the Soil Health Partnership, an organization helping farmers use tools to identify, test and measure management practices for improving soil health.

5. Deforestation

Walmart invites suppliers to join us in working to reduce deforestation through innovative sourcing strategies and the use of technology to increase transparency and supply chain accountability. For example, some suppliers are participating in place-based, multi-stakeholder initiatives that are intended to reduce forest loss and degradation.

Project Gigaton participant Unilever committed to supporting work in Sabah, Malaysia as part of its strategy to achieve a deforestation-free supply chain and avoid emissions. Unilever will help certify 60,000 hectares to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standards in Sabah as part of a program led by Forever Sabah, WWF Malaysia and the Palm Oil & NGO (PONGO) Alliance.

We also support certifications to reduce forest loss and improve sustainability of commodities such as palm oil, pulp and paper, as well as Brazilian beef and soy. In 2015, based upon supplier reported data, 100% of our private-brand palm oil was sourced through a combination of RSPO certification criteria, including Mass Balance, Segregated, Identity Preserved and Credits. In 2017, we strengthened our efforts and set a more ambitious goal to source our private-brand palm oil in accordance with the principles and criteria of RSPO, using only Mass Balance or Segregated supply chain systems, or equivalent standards, by the end of 2020.

6. Product use & design

Designers, manufacturers and brands have an opportunity to help customers lower the GHG emissions associated with their use of a product (and often saving customers money at the same time). In Project Gigaton, we ask suppliers to commit, in particular, to improving the in-use energy efficiency of their products.

Walmart has collaborated with suppliers on product innovations that have helped consumers reduce emissions — such as working with suppliers to popularize LED light bulbs. More recently, Project Gigaton participant Procter & Gamble announced a commitment to cut 50 million metric tons of emissions from its operations and value chain by 2030. As part of that commitment, the Tide #QuickColdPledge encourages customers to switch to quick and cold laundry cycles.

For more on how suppliers are demonstrating progress through Project Gigaton, visit our Supplier Recognition page.

Climate change adaptation

With operations and a value chain that span the globe, we are incorporating resiliency planning and initiatives into parts of our business to help address the effects of climate change.

151027_WMT_produce_greens_A_15288.jpg

Resilient sourcing

In some cases where the availability or quality of commodities is susceptible to climate variables such as drought, storms and temperature, we are working with our buyers, distribution teams and suppliers on resiliency plans. For example, in our food business, we are working with produce suppliers on strategies such as using greenhouses to grow tomatoes and leafy greens, pioneering techniques to better manage growing conditions, improving yields and reducing the need for fertilizers.

Disaster response & resiliency

Through Walmart’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Walmart’s planning and operational practices, we identify, assess, triage and respond to natural disasters, including epidemiological issues, and security events that affect Walmart operations, associates and the communities we serve.

The EOC operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to identify emerging risks, help facilities and associates prepare for disasters, monitor the development of crises, and serve as a triage point for emergencies in our stores or offices around the world. The EOC activates cross-functional subject matter teams throughout our business to prepare for and respond to disasters quickly and effectively.

The EOC core team includes experts in emergency management who regularly train associates across the enterprise. We use data and predictive analytics to identify and assess weather and environmental risks. This data aids in disaster preparedness and helps maintain or quickly restore operations. In major disasters, we can deploy an array of internal resources, including mobile generators, fuel resources, trucks and associates who can help to manage our corporate response to the crises on the ground. Through the EOC’s efforts to coordinate with local, state and federal governmental agencies, as well as nonprofits and volunteer organizations around the world, Walmart is able to determine how it can help support local communities in the face of disaster.

Asset 23.svg

Philanthropy

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have made substantial investments designed to improve access to and availability of healthier food and increase people's confidence to select, prepare and serve healthier food. Through Walmart's food donations and additional philanthropic investment from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation, we met the goal we set in FY2014 to provide 4 billion meals to people in need by 2020, largely through the donation of unsold food. As of November 2018, we had also put funding in place to reach 4 milion people with nutrition education. In FY2019, Walmart stores, clubs and distribution centers in the U.S. donated more than 640 million pounds of food, over 55% of which was fruits, vegetables and meat. Globally, Walmart donated a total of 720 million pounds of food in FY2019. For more information on our hunger relief and nutrition education efforts, please visit Walmart.org

Policies & Resources

Sustainable Supply Chain

Quick facts

  • Globe with leaf
    Walmart and Sam’s Club U.S. suppliers have improved their Sustainability Index scores by 28% compared with 201619
  • Hand with Chart icon
    As of the end of FY2019, we achieved a supplier Sustainability Index participation rate that covers 80% of the goods we sell in U.S. Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations for categories where the Sustainability Index is available
  • Asset 6.svg
    According to supplier reports, nearly 100% of Walmart U.S. stores' and clubs' seafood selection is sourced in accordance with our sustainable seafood policy

The Sustainability Index

Our aspirations for sustainable product supply chains go beyond managing risk in our own sourcing; we aim to bring about significant and lasting improvement across product supply chains through collaborative efforts with suppliers, NGOs and others.

Walmart encourages suppliers to report through the Sustainability Index, a science-based, third- party tool developed by The Sustainability Consortium in collaboration with universities, NGOs and suppliers. The Index includes data from suppliers on key environmental, social and other performance indicators at the category level. The Index reflects responses from more than 1,500 unique suppliers covering 115 categories and departments across Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S.

We set a goal in 2012 to buy 70% of our U.S. goods from suppliers that participate in the Index (in categories covered by the Index). We met that goal in 2017, and in 2018, more than 80% of such goods came from participating suppliers. Walmart and Sam’s Club U.S. suppliers have improved their Sustainability Index scores by 28% compared with 2016.20

20x25

20x25 means we aspire to source at least 20 key commodities more sustainably by 2025, across the following:
• Fresh produce
• Animal agriculture
• Seafood
• Specialty commodities such as coffee, tea and cocoa
• Row crops
• Consumables, such as personal care products
• Apparel/textiles

We have prioritized the 20x25 commodities based upon a variety of factors, including the nature and magnitude of environmental and social improvement opportunities (as informed by Sustainability Index data and feedback from stakeholders); business opportunity and risk (e.g., sales, supply security, cost issues or reputation risk); and Walmart’s ability to convene suppliers and others to promote change. In each case, we are working with suppliers, NGOs and others to understand the current state and pursue initiatives to advance environmental and/or social indicators.

ESG-Environment-3@2x.png

The Index is one of several tools we use to help us make progress on 20x25. As an example, the chart above illustrates the category scorecard for consumables suppliers. A Walmart buyer can use this scorecard to identify improvement opportunities for individual suppliers and spotlight issues for category-wide initiatives, such as sustainable chemistry and packaging design.

Asset 23.svg

Philanthropy

We look to philanthropy as a means of catalyzing change in areas not reached through business initiatives. For example, we have made targeted grants supporting innovative approaches to regenerative agriculture, sustainable fisherines, forest preservation and waste reduction. Learn more at Walmart.org

We also pursue strategic initiatives for system-wide improvements in product value chains. For example, because our customers told us they want more innovative product formulations, we launched a Sustainable Chemistry initiative with suppliers, retailers and NGOs. The chart provides additional examples of special initiatives.

Example initiatives Walmart is pursuing with suppliers & others


PRODUCT CATEGORIES

WORKING CONDITIONS

ENVIRONMENT

SAFER & HEALTHIER PRODUCTS

TRANSPARENCY

Produce

  • Providing recommendations for and encouraging responsible recruitment practices (e.g., Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment)
  • Helping align industry associations around a common approach to responsible practices (e.g., Ethical Charter; Consumer Goods Forum)
  • Market access for small producers
  • Collaborating with industry stakeholders (e.g., Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors)
  • Upstream and downstream food waste reduction
  • Certification programs
  • Sustainable package design and recycling
  • Protected growing environments
  • New varieties that enhance customer experience, improve yields and decrease environmental impacts
  • Water use efficiency
  • Making healthier options more affordable
  • Making healthier choices easier
  • Providing nutrition education
  • Promoting food safety (e.g., China food safety)
  • Blockchain pilot
  • Sustainability Index
  • Third-party certifications on packaging, where appropriate

Meat & dairy

  • Feed grain sourcing principles
  • Better practices in manure management, enteric emissions and feed inputs
  • Elimination of net deforestation due to beef production
  • Project Gigaton
  • Promoting animal welfare and responsible antibiotic use
  • Promoting food safety (e.g., China food safety)
  • Sustainability Index
  • Supporting Global Forest Watch

Seafood

  • Collaborating with industry stakeholders (e.g., Seafood Task Force)
  • Supporting initiatives to counter forced labor in the Thai seafood supply chain
  • Providing recommendations and encouraging responsible recruitment practices
  • Third-party certifications (e.g., MSC)
  • Addressing overfishing and bycatch
  • Third-party certifications on packaging, where appropriate
  • Sustainability Index

Packaged food & row crops

  • Sourcing from diverse suppliers
  • Research into jurisdiction approaches
  • Fertilizer optimization to improve soil health and water quality
  • Sustainable package design and recycling
  • Investments in recycling infrastructure
  • Project Gigaton
  • Food reformulation (e.g., sugar, additives)
  • Great for You privatebrand labeling in U.S. stores
  • Third-party certifications on packaging, where appropriate
  • Sustainability Index

Specialty crops

  • Providing recommendations and encouraging responsible recruitment practices
  • Third-party certifications (e.g., RSPO)
  • Water use efficiency
  • Sustainable package design and recycling
  • Leveraging third-party certifications, where appropriate
  • Sustainability Index

Consumables

  • Encouraging reduction of Priority Chemicals
  • Elimination of deforestation due to pulp and paper production
  • Sustainable package design and recycling
  • Project Gigaton
  • Advancing sustainable chemistry
  • Third-party certifications, where appropriate
  • Encouraging chemical ingredient disclosure
  • Sustainability Index

Apparel & textiles

  • Collaborating in the industry to promote safer working conditions in ready-made garment industry Providing recommendations and encouraging responsible recruitment practices
  • Collaborating with industry stakeholders
  • Factory energy efficiency
  • Energy and water use in apparel mills
  • Project Gigaton
  • Every Day Low True Cost products
  • Sustainability Index
  • Higg Index

General merchandise

  • Providing recommendations and encouraging responsible recruitment practices
  • Sourcing from diverse suppliers
  • Designing for product efficiency and end-of-life
  • Project Gigaton
  • Factory energy efficiency
  • Elimination of deforestation due to pulp and paper production
  • Sustainable package design and recycling
  • Supporting investments in recycling infrastructure
  • Leveraging third-party certifications, where appropriate

Waste

Quick Facts

  • Asset 2.svg
    In the U.S., we diverted 81% of our unsold products, packaging and other waste materials from landfills and incineration
  • Asset 5.svg
    Globally, we diverted more than 1.6 billion pounds of food waste from landfills23
  • Asset 4.svg
    Recycled more than 430 million pounds of plastic film and rigid plastics globally
  • Asset 3.svg
    Donated more than 720 million pounds of food globally, which includes 640 million pounds in the U.S.

Our work aims to break the link between the growth of our business and the production of waste. In 2005, Walmart set an aspirational goal to achieve zero waste in our own operations. By 2025, we aim to achieve that goal in Canada, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S.21 In 2018, we diverted 78% of our unsold products, packaging and other materials from landfill and incineration globally.22 We also work with our suppliers to reduce waste through Project Gigaton.

Two areas of particular focus are plastic and food waste. In addition to addressing plastic and food waste in our operations, we are working with suppliers upstream and building capacity with consumers and other organizations to eliminate waste downstream.

Plastic waste

While plastic provides numerous benefits in areas such as food safety and packaging flexibility, society has been unable to collect and recycle plastic at the same rate as it is produced. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in 2016, less than 14% of plastic packaging was collected for recycling globally, with the rest ending up in landfills, rivers and oceans.

ReusableBag_Testing_Page_6.png

Plastic waste in our operations

Walmart’s aspiration is to achieve zero plastic waste by taking actions across our business to use less plastic, recycle more and support innovations to improve plastic waste reduction systems. For example, we aim to use reusable packing containers instead of disposable packaging whenever possible. When we do use disposable packaging, we try to recycle as much of it as possible. In 2018, we recycled 430 million pounds of plastic film and rigid plastics globally.

Plastic waste in our value chain

Approximately 40% of non-fiber plastic produced is used in packaging, the majority of which is used once and discarded. We have asked our suppliers to reduce unnecessary plastic packaging, increase packaging recyclability and increase recycled content, and to help us educate customers on reducing, reusing and recycling plastic.

As of February 2019, we have committed to work with our U.S. private brand suppliers to:

  • Achieve 100% recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable packaging in all Walmart private brand products by 2025
  • Target at least 20% post-consumer recycled content in private brand packaging by 2025
  • Label 100% of food and consumable private brand packaging with the How2Recycle® label by 2022
  • Eliminate the non‑recyclable packaging material PVC in general merchandise packaging by 2020
  • Reduce private brand plastic packaging when possible

We encourage our national brand suppliers to make similar packaging commitments through Project Gigaton; we engage them on sustainable packaging best practices to support the creation and achievement of such goals.

To encourage customers to recycle, we have asked suppliers to put more consumer-friendly recycling information on packaging. In the U.S., Walmart encourages use of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s How2Recycle® label; in 2019 Walmart Canada announced a commitment to use this label on all private brand products by 2025.

Beyond packaging, we are also working to offer access to low-cost, high-quality alternatives for single-use plastic consumable products and plastic bags.

We participate in the plastic working group at the Consumer Goods Forum and we support The UK Plastic Pact; we are also signatories to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.

To learn more about our initiatives to eliminate waste, including our Sustainable Packaging Position Statement and Playbook, see the Walmart Sustainability Hub, Walmart Canada and Walmart Mexico.

Asset 23.svg

Philanthropy

To help reduce plastic waste in the U.S., the Walmart Foundation has made targeted investments to support materials innovation, recycling collection and/or sortation infrastructure and consumer education. For example, the Walmart Foundation has supported the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Beyond 34 project, an initiative aimed at increasing the U.S. recycling rate.

Learn more at Walmart.org.

Food Waste

We are inspired by the U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer level and reduce food losses along production and supply chains by 2030. Our end-to-end approach for addressing food waste includes pursuing best practices in our operations, building capacity in the broader food recovery system, working with suppliers upstream and empowering consumers downstream.

Food waste in our operations

We aim for Zero Waste24 in our operations in Canada, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S., which encompasses food waste. We are a signatory to the Consumer Goods Forum’s Food Waste Resolution and a member of the U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions, both of which seek to halve food waste. In FY2019, Walmart Canada committed to achieve zero food waste by 2025.

The primary way we reduce food waste in our operations is by working to increase the sell-through rate. In the U.S., for example, we have strengthened our forecasting and ordering tools to improve inventory flow, adjusted store fixtures to increase turnover and customer appeal, made enhancements in our distribution centers, and provided our store associates with resources and education on how to better care for food and manage it at the end of shelf life. We are seeing results. In FY2019, we had 90 million fewer wasted units in our fresh departments in the U.S. as compared with last year.

We have also created a customized field-to-store network for highly perishable products, which is designed to reduce days in transit and increase freshness for customers. To support this network, we introduced specialized upstream nodes to consolidate products, which allow fresh produce to move faster through every step of the transportation process. While decreasing inventory and waste, our produce moves through our Speed Fresh Supply Chain up to 1.8 days faster.

Additionally, in several markets, we adjust our product specifications to accept size and other cosmetic variations that don’t affect the quality of fresh produce. For example, our Asda stores in the U.K. sell cosmetically imperfect, or “ugly,” fruits and vegetables under a variety of labels. In FY2019, Asda sold more than a million boxes of this produce, avoiding 1.5 million pounds of waste.

In Canada, China, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. we offer discounts on food that is close to its expiration date, including meat, bakery, dry goods and dairy. In FY2019, we sold more than 320 million units through these programs in the U.S., saving our customers money and helping prevent food waste.

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 FY2019, we donated 640 million pounds of food in the U.S. alone.

Healthy food clean eating selection

If food is no longer edible, we try to convert it to animal feed, compost or energy. Our Asda stores, for example, are recycling food into energy by taking inedible unsold food to anaerobic digestion plants, where it is broken down into gases that can be used as fuel and fertilizers.

In 2018, we diverted more than 1.6 billion pounds of food waste from landfills globally. We also received a B, the highest score among U.S. supermarkets assessed, in the Center for Biological Diversity’s study on food waste. The study reviewed American supermarkets’ food waste reduction commitments, policies and actions.

_Walmart_2019_ESG_Report_Embargoed_050819_8AM__002___1__pdf__page_33_of_94_.jpg

Food waste in our value chain

We undertake efforts to help eliminate food waste in our value chains beyond our own operations. As noted above in the discussion of fresh supply chain improvements, our efforts include reducing days in the supply chain from point of origin to store. As well, through Project Gigaton, Walmart is encouraging our suppliers to measure and report food waste; introduce reprocessing, donation and recycling practices; and standardize date labeling (when the date is required for quality reasons only) to eliminate customer confusion. In FY2018, 92% of our private brand products in the U.S. used “Best If Used By” date labels unless a food safety or regulatory reason prevents us from doing so. Beyond our private brand suppliers, we also advocate for other suppliers to standardize date labels across their brands in line with the Consumer Goods Forum’s Date Labeling Call to Action.

For more information on our work to reduce food waste, please visit our Global responsibility website.

Policies & Resources

Close up hand throwing empty plastic bottle into the trash Recycling Concept

Environmental Advocacy

Walmart engages in advocacy and coalitions to promote environmental public policy that aligns with our shared value business objectives.

Examples include:

SubpageImage_EnvironmentalAdvocacy.jpg

  • We Are Still In: To promote the aims of the Paris Climate Agreement after the announcement of the U.S. withdrawal, Walmart joined an initiative called We Are Still In. This is a signal to world leaders that Americans will not retreat from the global pact to reduce emissions and stem the causes of climate change.
  • Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance: We are members of this coalition that brings together purchasers and suppliers of renewable energy to make the process of transitioning to cleaner energy sources easier.
  • Paris and Bonn negotiations: We participated in the United Nations Climate Change Conferences in 2015 and 2017 to collaborate with international stakeholders in advancing environmental issues around the world.
  • Global Forest Watch Pro: To promote transparency and traceability across our supply chains, in 2017, Walmart joined the World Resources Institute and 20 other companies to launch Global Forest Watch Pro, an online platform that provides companies, banks and other stakeholders with data and tools for monitoring global forest loss because of the production of key commodities such as palm oil, soy and Brazilian beef.
  • Consumer Goods Forum: We are a member and our CEO serves on its Board of Directors. This organization promotes collaboration between consumer goods retailers and manufacturers to drive positive change on issues such as climate change and forced labor.