MISSISSAUGA, ON, July 16 /CNW/ - At a ceremony held this morning, Walmart Canada's Bridgewater location was recognized as the first store in Canada to achieve zero waste.
"It is a remarkable achievement and we are very proud of our Bridgewater associates," said Jim Thompson, chief of operations at Walmart Canada. "As one of the three sustainability objectives for Walmart Stores worldwide, our zero waste program is not only good for the environment, it is also good for the bottom line."
Collaboration and commitment are the keys to success
Reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill from one compactor a week to one every four months is not an easy task and only made possible through the collaboration and commitment of many stakeholders.
"Our team of associates at the store have been committed to this goal from the very beginning. Without this we would never have been able to get to where we are today," said Scott Goodfellow, Bridgewater store manager.
"It is very much a collaborative effort," explained Chantal Glenisson, senior vice president for Walmart Eastern Canada, "the Bridgewater team, the recycling programs put in place by our home office, the great service provided by our recycling partner, Corkums Recycling, customer participation, innovation on the part of our suppliers and the leadership of the municipality of Lunenburg and the Nova Scotia government are all part of the solution."
Making a difference - one step at a time
- Customers and staff now use waste sorting stations.
- Reusable plastic crates are now being used instead of cardboard boxes. Cardboard used in the store is recycled. Single use, disposable flags that were used in the store to signify promotions have been replaced with signs that can be used multiple times.
- The lunch room is Styrofoam free.
- Recycling discussions are regularly part of early morning staff meetings, and staff utilizes the services of the local recycling educators.
- A new full time position was created to manage the waste programs
- The compost output has tripled over the past year.
- Damaged pet food bags are donated to local animal shelters.
- Out of season clothing is donated to the local Red Cross rather than being discarded.
- Unsold book bags are donated to local schools.
To achieve zero waste a store must divert at least 95 per cent of its waste from landfill. The Bridgewater store is estimated to have achieved a 98 per cent diversion rate in 2009.
Bridgewater Walmart was awarded the Mobius Award for Environmental Business of the Year. Every year, the Resource and Recovery Fund Board of Nova Scotia recognizes innovative organizations and individuals who have made Nova Scotia a leader in waste reduction.
About Walmart Canada
Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Walmart Canada operates 319 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 percent by renewable energy, and to sell products that sustain people and the environment. Walmart Canada's corporate culture was recently ranked among the 10 most admired corporate cultures in Canada by Waterstone Human Capital Inc.
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