(Bentonville, Arkansas – February 21, 2006) – The Blue Skyways Collaborative, a voluntary program to reduce air pollution, visits the home of Wal-Mart for a biannual meeting and a look at successful sustainability from the world’s largest retailer.
The meeting encourages collaborative participants to share professional and technical expertise on air pollution control technologies. The event also features an update on the collaborative’s progress to date and its goals for the future of clean air.
"When companies like Wal-Mart adopt and promote cleaner transportation, its clear that Blue Skyways is engaging the right organizations to make a difference in communities throughout Americas heartland," said EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene. "We hope more members of industry will join the 44 Blue Skyways partners and take up the challenge of making cleaner air and healthier communities a reality."
"The Blue Skyways Collaborative is a crucial initiative for addressing air quality issues across Americas heartland," said EPA Region 7 Administrator John Askew. "Participating in Blue Skyways presents organizations with opportunities to play an important role in efforts to improve air quality, and helps ensure that our children and grandchildren will enjoy a cleaner environment for years to come."
Wal-Mart, a founding partner of the Blue Skyways Collaborative, is opening the Sam M. Walton Development Complex in Bentonville for the twice-yearly collaborative meeting. The meeting features presentations from Linda Dillman, Wal-Mart Executive Vice President of Risk Management, Benefits and Sustainability, and Tim Yatsko, Wal-Mart Senior Vice President of Transportation.
“The goals of the Blue Skyways Collaborative are consistent with Wal-Mart’s commitment to develop and implement practices that are good for the environment and good for our business,” said Yatsko. “As a part of the On-Road Subcommittee and Advisory Task Force, we proudly share our sustainability learnings with collaborative members as we increase the efficiency of our fleet and lower our emissions. Wal-Mart is dedicated to making our fleet more environmentally-friendly, and we encourage our suppliers and other collaborative members to do the same.”
The Blue Skyways Collaborative was formed to encourage voluntary air emissions reductions throughout North America’s heartland. The collaborative is implementing about $271 million in projects that use innovations in diesel engines, alternative fuels and renewable energy technologies to reduce air emissions along major transportation corridors. These innovations save 125 million gallons of fuel per year, cut 505,000 tons per year in greenhouse gases and reduce 40,000 tons per year in air pollutants.
Additional information on the Blue Skyways Collaborative is available at www.blueskyways.org. To learn more about Wal-Mart’s sustainability initiatives, please visit www.walmartfacts.com.