"We continue to take bold steps to achieve our sustainability goals and to reduce our environmental footprint," said Jim Thompson, senior vice president of operations for Walmart Canada. "Whether it's looking at the waste we produce, the energy we use, the products we stock or the way we package and ship them, Walmart Canada is committed to finding innovative solutions to environmental issues and to leadership in sustainability."
Walmart Canada's home office zero waste program focuses on waste reduction and waste diversion from landfill. The company has implemented numerous innovative waste diversion recycling streams and an associate education program in order to reach a goal of 95 per cent waste diversion.
"Our hope is to take best practices from our home office zero waste initiative and to adopt them chain-wide in the future," added Thompson.
"Walmart Canada has already reached a 65 per cent waste diversion rate across our operations and has a goal to reach 80 per cent company-wide by 2014.
In addition to recycling streams for paper fibres, beverage bottles and plastic, the company's home office has added streams for coffee cups, organics, polystyrene, electronics and compact fluorescent light bulbs. Over 40 more recycling centres have been added around the office in order to facilitate and encourage wider recycling by associates.
Walmart Canada's home office is also focusing on waste reduction. The company has eliminated polystyrene take-out containers and plastic cutlery from its cafeteria and has replaced them with compostable sugar cane containers and corn-based bioplastic cutlery. Non-disposable plates and cutlery are also available for associate use.
Reverse osmosis water filtration systems have been placed throughout the office to reduce plastic water bottle waste and new cleaning stations allow associates to more easily use and clean reusable containers.
A new education program teaches associates how to be more sustainable at work. Initial education seminars have focused on showing associates how to recycle and the benefits of using reusable water vessels and coffee mugs.
Walmart Canada has increased its purchase of zero emission power by 42 per cent and remains one of Canada's largest commercial purchasers of renewable electricity. Under its new three-year agreement with Bullfrog Power, Canada's leading provider of 100 per cent green electricity, Walmart Canada has bullfrogpowered its home office as well as stores in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. For the first time ever, the company also bullfrogpowered its annual year beginning meeting, which took place in February.
"Extending our purchase of green power builds on our existing and bold efforts to better manage our energy use," said Thompson. "Whether we're installing high-efficiency equipment and innovations in our new stores or converting our more than one million light bulbs nationwide to energy efficient alternatives, Walmart Canada is focused on energy efficiency and renewable power for the long-term benefit of our business and of the planet."