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Flexo Sustainable : Fall 2013
Scorecards, Bags, Indexes Walmart: Taking Steps to Sell More Sustainable Products Packaging represents a tremendous opportunity as Walmart works to reduce waste, be more efficient and partner with leaders in manufacturing, academia, government and other key stakeholders to drive more sustain- able outcomes. That news was conveyed by the world’s largest retailer— the operator of more than 4,000 stores and 620 Sam’s Club warehouse outlets in the United States—in its recently re- leased sixth annual Global Responsibility Report (GRR). According to the document, Walmart has been working to reduce packaging in the products it sells by 5 percent in five years, 2008-2013. Executives said the milestone was met, ahead of schedule, as a result of a variety of initiatives, each designed to eliminate unneeded packaging components, reduce the mass of remaining packaging materials and optimize the performance of the packaging used in each product category. At launch, in 2007, the retailer indicated that there were no effective packaging reduction metrics used commonly within the retail industry. Working with manufacturers, consumer products companies and others, Walmart developed its much talked about packaging scorecard and the methodology for measuring and improving the environmental impact of the packaging in use. Supplier partners who joined the chain in focusing on green house gas (GHG) emissions that result from each unit of packaging were credited with succeeding in reducing the overall GHG impact of packaging by an average of 9.8 percent in Walmart’s U.S. stores, 9.1 percent in Sam’s Clubs in the U.S. and 16 percent in Walmart Canada stores at the close of 2012. Developments to date prompted the world’s largest retail chain to expand its commitment to implementing and expanding a scaled Sustainability Index. The index was launched in 2012 with buyers and suppliers in 100 categories. Currently, it is applied to more than 190 classifications. Roll- out remains a continuous process. By 2017, Walmart plans to buy 70 percent of the goods sold in U.S. Walmart and Sam’s Club locations from suppliers who use the Index to evaluate their products. Also on tap are plans to use the Index to influence the design of U.S. private- brand products and tying Walmart U.S. buyers’ evaluations to sustainability objectives. “We believe our customers should not have to choose be- tween affordability and sustainability,” said Andrea Thomas, Walmart’s senior vice president of sustainability. “We will continue to deliver on our commitment to operate responsibly while continuing to provide our customers around the world with everyday low costs.” Other accomplishments documented in the GRR include the following: • Reduced Global Plastic Shopping Bag Waste: In 2012, Walmart reduced global plastic shopping bag waste globally by 38.1 percent per store—10 billion+ bags— more than the targeted 33 percent • Largest On-Site Green Power Generator in the U.S.: In 2012, the EPA Green Power Partnership recognized Walmart as the largest on-site green power generator, with more than 200 solar projects across the country • Accelerated Global Transition to Renewable Energy: Renewable energy now provides 21 percent of Walmart’s electricity globally • Beat GHG Emissions Targets: Walmart fulfilled a pledge made in 2009 to reduce GHG emissions by 20 percent. New renewable energy and efficiency commitments will avoid 3 million metric tons of CO2e—the equivalent of tak- ing 625,000 cars off the road, in effect halting the growth of GHG emissions from the company’s largest GHG source—energy used to power buildings Executives stand intent on eliminating 20 million metric tons of GHG from the global supply chain by 2016 • Drove Fewer Miles, Delivered More Product: In 2012, Walmart delivered almost 297 million more cases, while driving almost 11 million fewer miles, increasing fleet efficiency by 10 percent in 2012 alone and 80 percent since 2005 Since every mile not driven equals fuel savings, mea- sures taken saved almost $130 million and avoided emitting almost 103,000 metric tons of CO2, equivalent to tak- ing 20,000 cars off the road n 12 Sustainable FLEXO FAll 2013 www.flexomag.com www.flexomag.com FAll 2013 Sustainable FLEXO 13 2013 Global Responsibility Report TheRe s p onsibilit ytoLeadlGivinglSustainabilityIndexlJobsandOpportunitylWomen’sEmpowermentlRen ewable Ene rgylHungerRelieflAssociateDiversitylVeteranslHealthierFoodslManufacturingl Use to arrange cover images