Walmart Sustainable Product Expo Gathers Top CEOs to Renew Sustainability Commitments

By Walmart Staff
April 29, 2014
Sustainability Product Expo CEO Selfie

Our first-ever Sustainable Product Expo begins today, and it’s a great opportunity for Walmart showcase some of the work we’re doing in product sustainability. What’s even more exciting is that it’s a chance for Walmart to collaborate with some of the largest companies in the world to sign new commitments that accelerate innovation in recycling and sustainable agriculture.

Eight of the largest food companies announced pledges to help ensure that tomorrow’s food supply is affordable and sustainable for the nine billion people projected to inhabit the planet by 2050. The commitments aim to drive more collaboration and efficiency across the current food system.

Additionally, companies joined with Walmart and the Walmart Foundation in announcing plans to launch a groundbreaking recycling initiative called the Closed Loop Fund, with the goal of making recycling available to all Americans.

And these commitments are coming from the top; the CEOs from these companies and organizations — including EDF, Procter& Gamble, PepsiCo, and Campbell Soup Company — are in attendance because they truly believe in the work that Walmart has done, and want to be a big part of it in the future.

Here’s what they had to say:

Environmental Defense Fund
"It is good news that so many prominent CEO's have stepped up and made commitments to reduce GHG's and make their supply chains more sustainable, and EDF looks forward to seeing real progress in the days ahead -- because follow-through is what matters most. We are very proud of our partnership with Walmart, which led to the aggressive 20MMT goal, and we'll be even prouder on the day the company announces it has reached that goal. We know our colleagues at Walmart feel the same way. We are results-oriented organizations -- and strong results begin with the commitments that were made today." – Fred Krupp, president

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
“This partnership highlights the powerful potential of private capital to encourage more efficient use of our resources while spurring local job creation and community engagement. We are excited to be working with leading companies who are committed to developing market-based solutions that can address critical societal and environmental issues in innovative ways.” - John Weinberg, vice chairman and co-head of the Investment Banking Division

Campbell Soup Company
“At Campbell, we seek to make a positive, sustainable impact in the world through our primary purpose – real food that matters for life’s moments. Campbell has a heritage of environmental stewardship that is deeply rooted in our belief that we have a responsibility to nourish the health of our communities and conserve the Earth’s natural resources for future generations. We look forward to working with Walmart, our industry peers and suppliers in optimizing sustainable agriculture and creating efficiencies that strengthen local economies, provide access to affordable and healthy food and benefit the planet.” - Denise Morrison, president and CEO

Kellogg Company
“Because rice is one of our largest ingredient purchases – used for Rice Krispies and Special K worldwide – it’s appropriate that our new partnership with Walmart focuses on helping smallholder rice growers improve their practices and livelihoods, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” – John Bryant, president and CEO 

General Mills
“For the global food system, the challenge is clear: How do we produce more food for the world’s growing population and conserve and protect the natural resources and communities upon which our business depends? In response to this challenge, General Mills announced in 2013 our commitment to sustainably source 100 percent of our 10 priority ingredients by 2020 – representing more than 50 percent of our annual raw material purchases. Today’s joint commitment with Walmart builds on these efforts to advance sustainable agriculture and create long-term value for society, the environment, and business.” – Ken Powell, chairman and CEO

Monsanto
“Agriculture is at the center of some of the world’s most pressing challenges from meeting rising global demands to conserving precious natural resources like soil and water,” said Hugh Grant, Chairman and CEO of Monsanto Company. “But given the right tools, farmers have the opportunity to be at the forefront of solutions to grow even more safe, affordable, nutritious and sustainable food for all of us around the world. That’s why the people of Monsanto are proud to partner with our customers to continue to innovate and improve nutrient use efficiency on 1 million acres of US cropland in support of this effort. Farmers are good stewards of the land today and with continued investments in innovation, can accomplish even more in the future.” - Hugh Grant, chairman and CEO

Coca-Cola North America
“Because Coca-Cola views packaging as a valuable resource, we are developing initiatives to recover and reuse our packaging. Investing in innovative programs like Walmart’s Closed Loop Fund provides more communities with access to recycling infrastructure, while decreasing the materials deposited in landfills.” – Sandy Douglas, president

PepsiCo 
“We’re pleased that, together with Walmart, we’ll be expanding PepsiCo’s Sustainable Farming Initiative (SFI) to cover 500,000 acres under sustainable management practices in North America.  The SFI, which was developed collaboratively with stakeholders, establishes a clear and universal standard for defining, implementing and quantifying sustainable agriculture.  Integral to this partnership is joint action to develop and encourage adoption of low-carbon fertilizers, a key element of sustainable farming practices. We are also honored to join Walmart and industry partners in creating The Closed Loop Fund, an innovative funding mechanism to support and scale initiatives to increase recycling rates across the United States.” - Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO

Procter & Gamble
 “The “Closed Loop Fund” is an innovative step to enable local municipalities to invest in ways to increase local recycling to give more consumers consistent and reliable ways to reduce waste by recycling more of their everyday products.  That will, in turn, enable a larger supply of usable, recyclable content, which will enable manufactures to give consumers what they want - more packaging with recycled materials.  This is good for consumers, and good for the environment.” - A.G. Lafley, chairman of the board, president, and CEO

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Family of Companies
“Babies hold a special place in our hearts at Johnson & Johnson. Our Babies Will Inherit Our Planet® and that’s why we’ve always been committed to caring for our natural resources. We launched our Care to Recycle® campaign to raise awareness of recycling, particularly in the bathroom where most of our products are used. We are thrilled to be a founding member of the Closed Loop Fund which will help bring recycling to more American households.” - Roberto Marques, company group chairman, North America

Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. 
“Our target to make 100 percent of our K-Cup® packs for Keurig® brewing systems recyclable by 2020 is multi-faceted.  Part of accomplishing this target requires changes to the recycling infrastructure that Keurig Green Mountain can’t address alone.  This collective approach brings to life the power of partnerships, which is one of our core company values.  We share the commitment of our peers to explore solutions together in the quest to use our products and our business to impact the world in a positive way.” – Brian Kelley, president and CEO 

SC Johnson
“We’re honored to join Walmart and others in the pursuit of real progress in waste reduction.”  – Fisk Johnson, chairman and CEO

Unilever
“At Unilever we’ve put sustainable living at the heart of our business model – through our brands, innovation, sourcing and operations.  While we are making progress, the environmental, social, and economic issues we face as a society are far too complex for any individual, company, or government to tackle alone. The Closed Loop Fund is a great example of how we can drive transformational change through partnership. We’re excited to join forces as an industry to address the challenge of increasing recycling rates.” - Kees Kruythoff, president, North America