Wal-Mart Canada unveils corporate environmental strategy
In a new corporate policy titled "For the Greener Good" (to be known in Quebec as "EcoLogique"), Wal-Mart Canada has committed to three long-term sustainability goals: globally and in Canada: 1. to produce zero waste; 2. to be powered 100% by renewable energy; and 3. to make more environmentally preferable products available to customers. The company has pledged to meet these goals at its operations in Canada and globally.
"'For the Greener Good' represents a new company mindset," said Wal-Mart Canada president and CEO Mario Pilozzi. "Whether we're introducing our managers and suppliers to the ideas of David Suzuki, challenging vendors to reduce packaging, eliminating waste in our stores, or showcasing greener products for customers, we're committed to knowing more and doing more about the environment."
Within Canada, a number of initiatives will be undertaken during 2007 to work toward meeting the For the Greener Good goals.
*Wal-Mart Canada will fund a $2.5-million Green Grant program, in partnership with Evergreen (www.evergreen.ca), to support the restoration and stewardship of community green space in Canada. The company says this is the largest corporately funded program of its kind, representing an average annual commitment of $500,000 over the next five years.
*The company has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by a minimum of 19,000 tons this year. Wal-Mart Canada buys more renewable energy than any other commercial enterprise in Ontario; its 2007 plans put it on track to become Canada's largest green power purchaser. The company has reduced its energy use for store lighting by 25 33% in select locations, and by the end of 2007 will have retrofitted approximately half of its stores, each representing a 25% reduction in power used for lighting. As it did in Ontario in the summers of 2005 and 2006, Wal-Mart is investigating dimming store lights to two-thirds power during high-consumption periods. Taken together, the green energy and conservation measures are projected to yield carbon reductions equivalent to taking 1,900 cars off the road for one year.
*Waste from Wal-Mart Canada stores will be reduced by a minimum of 87 million kilograms in 2007, filling approximately 22,000 fewer garbage trucks nationwide. The company has introduced aggressive programs and targets for recycling cardboard and plastic film (which comprise more than half of store waste), and is piloting a program to separate all store waste into multiple categories to allow appropriate disposal, recycling and even sale of materials previously directed to landfill.
*Wal-Mart Canada will enlist new and existing suppliers in its sustainability efforts. Forthcoming initiatives in this area will include: holding the first-ever "Wal-Mart Canada Green Supplier Fair" on August 29 to seek out environmentally preferable products; providing the company's buyers and suppliers training on sustainable packaging; introducing a scorecard to hold suppliers accountable for the environmental "footprint" of their product packaging.
In addition, the retailer has established 13 internal networks working with industry partners and environmental experts to assess sustainable practices, products and improvements in the following business areas: seafood; forest and paper; electronics; chemical-intensive products; food and agriculture; textiles; logistics; packaging; greenhouse gases; construction and design; alternative fuels; waste; and, jewelry and mined products. Sustainability and the environment will be a key focus of Wal-Mart Canada's first-ever Corporate Values Report, to be published this summer.