BENTONVILLE, Ark., August 29, 2007- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) today announced a $1.5 million donation to the University of Arkansas Applied Sustainability Center to fund projects related to advanced research on greenhouse gas emissions, agriculture, and environmental education. The gift is the latest in a series of contributions from the Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club Foundation to fund educational initiatives, including donations to local schools and universities, student scholarships, education programs and Wal-Mart’s annual Teacher of the Year program.
“Our gift to the University of Arkansas is a part of Wal-Mart’s Sustainability 360 approach to addressing the environmental challenges of the 21st Century,” said Doug McMillon, executive vice president Wal-Mart, president and Chief Executive officer Sam’s Club. “We understand the need to take sustainability beyond reducing our direct environmental footprint to engage not only associates, suppliers and communities, but also students, staff and faculty members from the University of Arkansas and believe that together we can leave a better environment for future generations.”
The center, which is an interdisciplinary initiative of the Sam M. Walton College of Business, will focus on conducting two innovative projects. The first project will be collaboration with leading experts in carbon reduction to research methods for reducing embodied fossil fuels in products. For the second project, the center will partner with the University of Arkansas Dale Bumpers College of Food, Agriculture and Life Sciences to hold working sessions with specialists to identify and discuss sustainability issues in the agriculture industry.
“This gift from the Wal-Mart Foundation will enable us to create an information hub and a network of experts to support the corporate community in their efforts to become more sustainable,” said Jon Johnson, Walton College professor of management, who has been working on the formation of the center for the past year and is serving as the center’s executive director. “Capitalizing on this opportunity is not trivial. Sustainability can only be realized when managers understand the nature of the challenges and opportunities they face, and have the tools and ways to move on them.”
Wal-Mart’s Sustainability 360 approach is designed to ensure that sustainability efforts reach beyond its stores and clubs by encompassing its products, suppliers, associates, communities and customers to positively impact others. As part of this approach, the funding will help the Applied Sustainability Center develop a community speaking series on the environment. The speaking series will educate the business community in Northwest Arkansas, and students and faculty about sustainability issues through conversations with national thought leaders.
Last year, Wal-Mart was recognized by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest cash contributor in America. In 2006, the company and its Foundation gave more than $270 million to support Wal-Mart’s 4,000-plus U.S.-based communities. Charitable contributions from Wal-Mart support a variety of causes and issues in the areas of education, the environment, health and human services, civic and community groups, and culture and the arts. The majority of the company’s giving occurs at the local level as each Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club location is empowered to support the issues and causes that are important to their neighborhoods.
For more information please visit: http://sustainability.uark.edu/
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Every week, millions of customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to local communities in the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmartstores.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.