Responsibility

Sustainability

Leadership in environmental sustainability and reducing the environmental impact play an essential role in the activities of Walmart Canada. We are committed to reducing our environmental footprint by selling products that are routed to the market in a sustainable way, reducing energy consumption and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills.

Energy

In 2015, Walmart Canada stores were powered with 20,004 MWh of green electricity and through a $16.8 million investment in that same year, 110 Walmart Canada stores were retrofit with LED lights. The total chain is expected to be retrofit by 2019 resulting in a reduction of Walmart Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by 28,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

In November 2010, Walmart Canada opened its sustainable Balzac Fresh Food Distribution Centre, a facility that uses hydrogen fuel cells to power forklifts as well as solar, thermal and wind power. This cutting-edge facility is an estimated 60 per cent more energy-efficient than the company's traditional refrigerated distribution centres allowing it to cut costs by $4.8 million over a 5-year period.

Waste

One of Walmart’s three global sustainability goals is to create zero waste across its operations. While this goal may be bold, we continue to make measurable progress to deliver on this commitment. Walmart Canada has programs in place to divert more than a dozen waste-streams from landfill. Walmart Canada now diverts 83 per cent of its operational waste.

Food Waste

We believe food waste is a significant social and environmental problem. Good food should never go to waste, period.

In Canada, Walmart stores have donated more than 11 million pounds of food to food banks across the country through our comprehensive food diversion program. This program pairs Walmart Canada stores with a local food bank and ensures good food is donated to those who need it most. Globally, Walmart donates one billion pounds of food in North America each year.

So, what are we doing about food waste?

Walmart Canada has committed to achieving zero food waste by 2025, building on business and philanthropic initiatives to eliminate waste and relieve hunger that have been underway since 2005. Walmart Canada reduced food waste in its own operations by 23 percent between 2015 and 2017.

The company’s journey to achieving this goal will continue to be guided by a three-part strategy:

Improving operational efficiencies while enhancing value to the customer by efforts such as:

  • Discounting repackaged bruised or peak-freshness produce through Walmart’s $1/$2 Bag Program and reducing prices with Walmart’s Customer Value Program to allow for the quick sale of fresh meat, bakery, dairy and produce items approaching their best-before dates
  • Improving bakery production operations to reduce over-production and create more consistent quality
  • Providing additional processes, training and resources to associates
  • Implementing organic recycling programs in 338 stores and distribution centre locations across Canada, allowing facilities to recycle unsaleable and unsafe food into compost and energy instead of sending it to landfill

Increasing food donations: All Walmart Canada stores will be paired with local food banks to maximize surplus food donations, with approximately 85 per cent of stores regularly donating their surplus food products. Through a similar program in Walmart US, Walmart has been able to provide millions of pounds of much-needed fresh food into the charitable meal system

Providing philanthropic support: Walmart Canada has committed $1 million CAD to Food Banks Canada for the 2018 Fight Hunger. Spark Change. Campaign in support of food banks across the country.

The image below shows the U.S Environmental Protection Agency's Food Recovery Hierarchy. Walmart Canada uses this as a guide for our food waste management efforts:


Plastic Waste Reduction

Each year, Canadians use billions of plastic bags. A reduction and potential elimination of single-use shopping bags represent a tremendous opportunity to minimize the amount of waste being sent to landfills.

Reducing the amount of plastic sent to municipal landfill sites has been our focus since 2005. As part of that effort, Walmart has expanded the sale of reusable bags and improved in-store bag recycling programs. We continue to work with suppliers to develop innovative packaging that reduces the need for bags.

On February 9, 2016, Walmart Canada began phasing out free, single-use shopping bags at Canadian Walmart stores. In place of these bags, we are encouraging customers to use reusable bags offered for 97 cents in-store.

How our customers can help 

  1. Bring your own reusable bag to help reduce waste or purchase a reusable bag from Walmart Canada.
  2. Return your plastic bags to your local Walmart Canada store so they can be recycled through our plastic film recycling program.

SORT Program
In 2014, Walmart Canada launched its Store Operations Reclamation Transformation (SORT) program to divert general merchandise products from compactors, which would otherwise end up in municipal landfills. Since launching the program, we have kept 34,000 pallets of product out of store compactors – this is the equivalent of 1,300 truckloads of freight!
 

Products

Our customers have high expectations of us – and they should. They expect us to bring them a broad assortment of merchandise at everyday low prices. They also want products that are produced responsibly. We believe customers shouldn’t have to choose between products they can afford and products that are produced in an environmentally responsible way.

In partnership with our suppliers and NGO stakeholders, we’re working hard to exceed those expectations. We’re making sustainability an essential part of how we source merchandise around the world. In doing so, Walmart is taking a leading role globally in addressing the most important issues facing the consumer goods industry, helping our suppliers become more competitive businesses, creating a more resilient supply chain and increasing our customers’ trust in us and the brands we carry.

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