Sustainability is an Industrywide Effort

By Manuel Gomez
May 1, 2014
Sustainable Product Expo Manuel Gomez

What could bring nine CEOs from some of the largest companies in the world to Bentonville on a Tuesday? Well, our first-ever Sustainable Product Expo, of course. The three-day event brought together buyers, suppliers, nonprofits, and government agencies to help customers have access to products that sustain people and the environment. It’s part of what makes this such an exciting time here at Walmart, especially for those of us who work in sustainability and merchandising.

The Expo was a really special event in that it gave us a chance to sit down and collaborate with our suppliers on how to work collaboratively and innovate to bring sustainable solutions to our customers. By working together, we can address food production and recycling, as well as other pressing issues in the product supply chain. And it helped that we had the CEOs of some of the largest companies in the world in attendance working along with us, including Kellogg’s, PepsiCo, Unilever, General Mills, Coca-Cola, Cargill, Johnson & Johnson, and Campbell Soup Company, among others.

Our goal is to always to provide customers with more sustainable products on our shelves without having to make sacrifices. We work together with our suppliers to create efficiencies in our businesses and pass the savings to our customers. Of course, we want to make this as easy as possible for consumers, which is why we’ve decided to create a sustainability store on walmart.com. The shopping portal, expected to launch by the end of 2014, will allow customers to easily identify brands that are leading sustainability across popular categories, such as food, consumables, and electronics.

These types of efforts are only as strong as the relationships with all our partners. That’s why the Expo was so important; it’s something we will continue to do to improve on our service and deliver on our commitment for our customers. Personally, sustainability has been part of my career for nearly 10 years, I am passionate about sustainability and business -- and I’m looking forward to being part of this ongoing journey here at Walmart.