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Walmart on way to achieve its green goals

April 17, 2012 (United States Of America)

Walmart released its fifth annual Global Responsibility Report (GRR) entitled "Beyond 50 Years: Building a Sustainable Future," highlighting Walmart's global top 10 list of achievements to reduce its impact on the environment, improve efficiency in its supply chain and stores and address social issues.

The new GRR unveils data and progress against Walmart's three primary sustainability goals to use 100 percent renewable energy; create zero waste; and sell products that sustain people and the environment. Landmark waste reduction leads other notable accomplishments, including growing use of renewable energy, increased locally-grown sales and emphasis on diversity and empowerment.

"Good work is taking place every day across our global operations to make us a more responsible and sustainable company, and the results have been significant," said Mike Duke, Walmart's President and CEO. "We set ambitious goals to challenge ourselves but are committed to making change in a way that will be meaningful and long-term. Understandably, in some areas our progress is slower than we would like and sometimes we hit temporary roadblocks. Our commitment is clear and our resolve to lead is stronger than ever."

Top 10 Achievements Highlighted in the 2012 GRR Include:

• Reduced Waste by 80 Percent – Walmart prevented 80.9 percent of the waste generated across all U.S. operations from going to landfills. Walmart achieved this by implementing its Zero Waste Program, which consists of recycling, donating and repurposing waste. This figure represents 11.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions – the equivalent of taking more than two million cars off the road for a year. Similar efforts are under way globally. ASDA, Walmart's U.K. operator, sends zero food waste to landfills, and Walmart stores in China and Brazil diverted 52 percent of operational waste from landfills.

• Expanded Locally Grown Produce – By the end of 2011, Walmart increased the amount of locally grown produce sold by 97 percent, which accounts for more than 10 percent of all produce sold in U.S. stores. Locally grown is defined as products grown and sold in the same state. Walmart is pursuing a goal set in 2010 to double the amount of locally grown produce it sells in the U.S. by the end of 2015.

• Supported Women Around the World – Walmart announced the Women's Economic Empowerment Initiative to empower women across its supply chain by:

- Committing to source $20 billion from women-owned businesses in the United States over the next five years;

- Pledging to expand retail training programs to help 400,000 women around the world and provide skills training to 60,000 female factory workers who supply products to Walmart and other retailers; and,

- Supporting women empowerment programs by $100 million in grants from the Walmart Foundation and Walmart's international businesses.

• Saved Customers $1 Billion– Since launching with U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama in January 2011 the initiative to bring healthier, more affordable food to America, Walmart achieved its goal to save U.S. consumers nearly $1 billion on fresh fruits and vegetables. Walmart will continue to help consumers save on healthier food by reducing or eliminating the price premium on more than 350 better-for-you items including low-sodium lunch meat, reduced fat peanut butter and fat-free salad dressing.

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