Sustainable Design & Manufacturing
As we examine the life cycle of products through the lens of the Sustainability Index, we begin to understand that the many possible characteristics and opportunities for improvements in the products we sell are interdependent. Many times, a decision made during a product’s design stage has sustainability implications later in the development, use or disposal of a product. By the time a product reaches our shelves, it’s often too late to positively impact the product’s life cycle characteristics in a meaningful way. While the primary responsibility rests with our suppliers to design and manufacture sustainable and compliant products, we work to engage our stakeholders on the front end. Engaging early increases our opportunity to support and encourage our stakeholders to consider everything, from product safety and sustainable chemistry to recyclable content and packaging.
From recycled content to packaging optimization, our attention to the materials that go into the products we sell helps deliver value to our customers, from both an economic and environmental perspective. By stepping back to rethink what — in many cases — has always been, we hope to create a more circular economy. In the U.S. alone, cities spend billions of dollars annually throwing away materials that are worth billions more. Every ton of trash recycled rather than landfilled not only raises the availability of materials we need, but saves money, creates local jobs and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Our customers expect the products they buy to be safe, affordable and sustainable, and we’re working to deliver on those expectations by:
- Optimizing packaging
- Raising availability of recyclable materials
- Promoting sustainable chemistry
Sustainable manufacturing extends well beyond regulatory compliance. It’s about taking on social and environmental issues to strengthen the supply chain for the long term. We’re raising the bar for worker safety and well-being, while investing in training opportunities to build capacity and create opportunity around the world. At the same time, we’re working directly with our suppliers to lower operating costs, reduce GHG emissions and preserve natural resources.
Factory energy efficiency
Just as Walmart is working to drive efficiency and sustainability across our own operations, we recognize that the significance of addressing these same issues across our global supply chain is far greater. In fact, 90 percent of our environmental impact exists beyond the footprint of our internal operations. That’s why we’re engaging directly with suppliers and investing in energy efficiency worldwide, creating more impact at a far greater rate than would have been possible on our own. Together, we’re:
- Improving energy efficiency among our suppliers in China
- Reducing GHG emissions across our supplier base