Walmart Canada's green efforts net green

VANCOUVER, March 25 /CNW/ - Walmart Canada today announced that its current and planned environmental sustainability efforts around energy reduction, waste diversion and supply chain efficiency will help the company avoid an estimated $140 million in costs and generate revenue over the next five years.

The announcement was made as Walmart Canada President and CEO, David Cheesewright, participated in a panel discussion today on the business case for sustainability, at the GLOBE 2010 conference in Vancouver, one of the world's largest conferences dedicated to the business of the environment.

In the discussion, Cheesewright addressed the close tie between environmental improvement and business benefits. "We continue to believe that sustainability is just as important to our business as it is for the environment. At the same time as our efforts are positively affecting the environment, we're continuing to see tremendous cost savings for the company as a result of our sustainability initiatives."

Walmart Canada has been intensely dedicated to environmental sustainability since announcing its long-term sustainability goals in 2005: 1. To produce zero waste; 2. To be powered 100 per cent by renewable energy; and 3. To sell products that sustain people and the environment.

Over the past five years, the company has been particularly focused on supply chain efficiency, waste diversion and reduction, as well as energy-efficiency. Through current and planned sustainability projects, the company estimates it will avoid $70 million in costs from energy-saving initiatives and $55 million from supply chain efficiencies. The company's waste diversion programs will help the company avoid costs and generate revenue of approximately $60 million combined.

In his discussion Cheesewright highlighted examples of environmental initiatives that have been good for Walmart Canada's bottom line and that are helping the company achieve its ambitious goals. The following are some of these initiatives:


    -   Company's environmental demonstration store, in Ontario, is an
        estimated 60 per cent more energy-efficient than the company's
        previous supercentre stores
    -   New stores are high-efficiency formats and use 30 per cent less
        energy than previous supercentre prototypes
    -   Walmart Canada's new refrigerated distribution centre in Alberta will
        be an estimated 60 per cent more energy-efficient than the company's
        traditional centres, once complete
    -   The centre will use LED lighting exclusively, which is expected to
        half the energy bill for lighting and save an estimated 1,400,000
        kilowatt hours annually
    -   Three hundred stores have changed their lighting to lower-watt light
        bulbs, reducing energy use by an estimated 20 per cent and avoiding
        an estimated $6 million in costs per year
    -   By using LED lights in all exterior store signage the company is
        using 90 per cent less energy than it would with fluorescent lighting
    -   Company's reduced summer lighting program, in its fifth year, is
        saving 17,000 megawatt hours of electricity or $2 million each year

    Waste Diversion

    -   Walmart Canada is currently diverting over 80% of its waste from
        landfill or approximately 300,000 metric tonnes of materials
    -   The company has introduced innovative waste diversion streams
        in-store, from paper to plastic, and is working towards making its
        home office a zero-waste facility
    -   Through its plastic bag waste reduction strategy, the company
        purchased 15 million fewer plastic bags in 2009 as customers opted
        for reusable bags

    Supply Chain Efficiency

    -   The company changed deliveries to 31 stores from road to rail in
        2009, cutting fuel needs and reducing GHG emissions by 45 per cent
    -   Improved fill rates on trucks has reduced fuel needs and the
        company's C02 emissions by 2,400 tonnes
    -   Increased use of long-combination vehicles for transportation has
        reduced fuel needs and GHG emissions per load by up to 40 per cent
    -   By piloting the use of "Ecoboxes" for rail deliveries to one store,
        the company is saving 400 gallons of fuel per year and one tonne of
        C02 emissions
    -   Moving heavy loads on tri-axle trucks (trucks with three axles),
        where possible, is reducing transportation needs by 30 per cent while
        moving the same amount of freight

"More and more we're seeing that doing what's right for the planet is also right for the company," said Cheesewright. "The work we're doing around sustainability has really just begun but we'll continue to take bold and innovative steps. We have a tremendous opportunity to affect change and to be a leader across our industry and the business community."
GLOBE 2010 is one of the world's largest and longest-running events dedicated to the business of the environment.

About Walmart Canada

Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Walmart Canada operates 317 retail outlets nationwide and serves more than one million customers daily. The company's vision is to demonstrate environmental leadership by reducing the ecological impact of its operations through company-wide programs focused on waste, energy and products, as well as outreach programs that preserve and enhance local environments. Walmart's global goal is to generate zero waste, to be powered 100 per cent by renewable energy and to sell products that sustain people and the environment.

For further information: Karin Campbell, manager of corporate affairs, Walmart Canada, (905) 821-2111 x4042