Because our products come from both around the corner and around the globe, it is essential that we work with suppliers to make our merchandise more environmentally friendly, and at the same time, help them become more sustainable businesses in their own right.
In 2007, we announced an effort to measure the ability of our suppliers to reduce packaging and use more sustainable resources. Our goal is a 5 percent reduction in overall packaging by 2013. With more than 60,000 suppliers around the world, the impact of this 5 percent reduction could be equal to removing 213,000 trucks from the road and preventing 66.7 million gallons of diesel fuel from being burned, per year. Not only will this benefit the environment, but it could save our supply chain more than $3.4 billion. Because we work with suppliers from all over the world, this makes it a truly global initiative in scope. For instance, our U.K. division, ASDA, recently announced its own goal of reducing packaging on its own food label by 25 percent by the end of next year. As our efforts spread to other suppliers and retailers outside of Wal-Mart, we believe this packaging reduction could save the global supply chain nearly $11 billion.
Within our supply chain, there are many opportunities beyond packaging to promote sustainability. Through our Energy Efficiency Programs, we are sharing best practices in energy efficiency with our suppliers. We have also begun to look at our work globally – and at particular countries such as China – and explore what we can do to foster sustainable practices in the countries where many of our suppliers source their goods.
Facts and Figures
Reducing packaging at Wal-Mart overall by 5 percent could be equal to removing 213,000 trucks from the road and preventing 66.7 million gallons of diesel fuel from being burned, per year.
Not only will this benefit the environment, but it could save our supply chain more than $3.4 billion.