Addressing Business and Environmental Sustainability in the 21st Century
BENTONVILLE, Ark., June 16, 2006 – John Menzer, vice chairman of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., will speak at the CIES 50th World Food Business Summit on June 23 in Paris, France. At this summit, retail and supplier executives will discuss new strategic concepts and opportunities regarding the overall direction of the food business on a global scale. Menzer will address the role of business in the 21st century, emphasizing that businesses can be both efficient and profitable while also selling products and adopting practices that are environmentally friendly.
“We at Wal-Mart recognize that being both an efficient business and environmentally friendly are goals that can work together,” said Menzer. “We understand the importance of utilizing renewable energy sources, creating less waste, and offering our customers access to sustainable products.”
In October 2005, Wal-Mart publicly designated several areas of sustainability leadership where the company could influence meaningful change. Wal-Mart plans to reduce solid waste from U.S. stores and clubs by 25 percent in the next three years; to work with suppliers to generate less waste from packaging materials overall; and, in the next two years, to replace PVC packaging for private brands with alternatives that are more recyclable.
The company is already acting on these goals. For instance, some of the fresh food Wal-Mart sells now comes wrapped in corn-based packaging. This new packaging method will save 800,000 gallons of gasoline and prevent more than 11 million pounds of greenhouse gases from polluting the environment. Wal-Mart is also selling and aggressively promoting high-efficiency light bulbs, which use 80 percent less electricity and prevent 500 pounds of coal from being burned over the lives of the bulbs.
“We’re already doing a lot and making incredible progress,” said Menzer. “Sustainability isn’t just a one-time shot, but a lasting part of the culture, and it will yield benefits for years to come.”
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAMS CLUB locations in the United States. The company has operations in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The companys securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange and NYSE Arca, formerly the Pacific Stock Exchange, under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com.