09_Walmart

The world's largest retailer took its boldest leap yet in a quest to green its entire operation with a new plan to rate the sustainability of every product it sells. "We've moved quickly on our goals because of the collaborative ways we've been doing it," says SVP of sustainability Matt Kistler. Tapping its 2 million employees, 100,000 global suppliers, and a consortium of NGOs, scientists, and other businesses, Walmart has grown into the world's greenest retailer.

The world's largest retailer took its boldest leap yet in a quest to green its entire operation with a new plan to rate the sustainability of every product it sells. "We've moved quickly on our goals because of the collaborative ways we've been doing it," says SVP of sustainability Matt Kistler. Tapping its 2 million employees, 100,000 global suppliers, and a consortium of NGOs, scientists, and other businesses, Walmart has grown into the world's greenest retailer.

Goals

October 2005: Then-CEO Lee Scott announces ambitious goals: create zero waste, use only renewable energy, and sell products that sustain the environment.

Packaging

October 2005: Partners with Unilever to introduce superconcentrated liquid laundry soap. The move remakes the industry, saving an estimated 25 million pounds of plastic resin, 140 million gallons of water, and 40 million pounds of cardboard each year.

Greener Lightbulbs

Slideshow

11 Ways That Walmart Is Changing Retail--for Good

August 2006: Aims to sell 100 million compact fluorescent lightbulbs in 12 months. Despite the higher price tag, it sells 137 million CFLs, which use 75% less energy than incandescents.

Alternative Energy

May 2007: Launches a solar-power pilot, installing solar arrays on top of 20 stores in California, eliminating 6,000 to 8,000 metric tons of greenhouse-gas emissions each year. In April 2009, Walmart expands its partnership with BP Solar to 20 more locations, providing 20% to 30% of their total electricity needs.


Store Design

January 2007: Builds its first high-efficiency pilot store in Kansas City, Missouri. The sixth iteration of the store design, in Sacramento, is 30% more efficient than traditional supercenters, thanks to daylight-harvesting systems, LED-lit display cases, evaporative-cooling and radiant-flooring technologies, and detailed energy-management systems.

Reusable Bags

September 2008: Commits to reduce its global plastic shopping-bag waste by 33% over five years (that's 9 billion bags). The next month, it introduces a 50-cent reusable shopping bag in U.S. stores. By the end of the first year, it had used 2.5 billion fewer bags.

Supply Chain

July 2009: Announces its sustainability initiative to track the life cycle of every product it sells, measuring it on water use, greenhouse-gas emissions, and fair labor practices. Walmart is now hosting industry-by-industry meetings to debate what this consumer label will look like.

Add New Comment

0 Comments