Walmart is focused on delivering zero waste to landfill from its key global operations by 2025, the global retailer has said.
In 2017, the firm diverted 78% of its global waste from landfill, with 342m kg of food donated to organisations that distributed it to people in need, the company reported in its its 2018 Global Responsibility Report.
It worked across its markets in the US, UK, Canada and Japan to eliminate waste in its operations, with a particular focus on food waste and packaging.
The figures were based on reports from waste vendors, food banks and stores on the material handling and waste diversion processes across twelve global markets.
Its efforts could increase efficiency and lower costs, said Walmart, and added it was “going further to look at the interplay of waste and useable materials”.
The report detailed how Walmart encouraged suppliers to limit waste from their own operations, address post-harvest losses at the farm level, standardise date labelling and educate customers about food waste prevention.
The company has also standardised date labelling across it own-brand products, because confusion “significantly contributes to food waste in the average home”, it said.
It worked on date-label terminology with its own-brand suppliers to provide customers with clear, consistent information. More than nine in ten (92%) of its own-brand products sold in the US used this system, the report said, unless food safety or other regulations prevented it.
The retailer’s commitment to zero waste to landfill is part of Project Gigaton, ongoing initiative with suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1bn tons, from their collective value chains by 2030. According to the report, 90% of Walmart’s total greenhouse gas emission came from its supply chain.
Project Gigaton covers different ways in which product supply chains could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including: waste management; energy; packaging; agriculture; deforestation and product use.
The company estimates it could cut 300m tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 through agriculture innovations alone, using better supply chain practices like manure management, animal feed inputs and fertiliser optimisation.
In the first year of reporting, suppliers recorded emissions reductions that totalled over 20m tonnes, said Walmart.
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