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Walmart’s sustainability strategies are based on three fundamental pillars: 1) 100% renewable energy supply, currently with six wind energy projects and two water energy projects; 2) recycling all materials leaving the stores to generate zero waste for landfills, dumps and landfills, a goal that has been achieved by 74%; and 3) offering more sustainable products to consumers.
It is important to note that packaging material, cardboard or plastics, as well as Walmart’s organic waste, are recycled, while the waste from perishable products is donated to food banks or used in compost or as livestock feed.
Post-consumer plastic in Mexico has a market. The playo or stretch film used to wrap Walmart pallets is a material in great demand by recyclers. Therefore, the industry considers it more effective to implement virtuous schemes, such as promoting the use of reusable bags, rather than banning materials.
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At the end of 2016, we had 299 stores with treatment plants throughout Central America, ensuring compliance with local water disposal legislation and contributing to the environment by treating the liquid waste that leaves the operation. In addition, all new stores use fittings and water outlets are equipped with flow regulators for better control of water resources.
In 2016 we sent for recycling more than 26,000 Metric Tons of cardboard, plastic and other materials such as PET bottles, aluminum, plastic hooks and paper and others. We also responsibly manage electronic equipment throughout Central America as well as pharmaceutical waste from our businesses.
We reduce the waste we generate through better management of inputs, increasing recyclable waste, donations and the final diversion of organics. By 2018, our goal is to send 27,100 metric tons of cardboard and plastic for recycling. These tons are equivalent to saving more than 414 thousand trees, avoiding around 28 thousand barrels of oil and stopping the use of more than 175 thousand m3 of landfill.
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The state claims it conducted 58 inspections of trash compactors at Walmart stores between 2015 and 2021 and found waste that required special handling at the time of dumping, such as batteries, insecticides, cleaning supplies, electronic waste, among others.
Walmart responded to the charges by saying that since 2010 regulators conducted 3,800 inspections of its stores “without imposing any penalties for hazardous waste control violations,” demonstrating the effectiveness of its hazardous waste disposal program.
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Walmart is now proposing to become a regenerative company. “Regenerate means restore, renew, replenish, and furthermore, conserve. It means decarbonizing operations and eliminating waste throughout the chain. It means encouraging the adoption of regenerative practices in agriculture, forest management and fisheries, while promoting prosperity and equity for customers, partners and people in our supply chains. And, working with our suppliers, customers, NGOs and others, we look forward to participating in transforming the world’s supply chains to be regenerative.”
Walmart’s new vision proposes to address environmental and climate challenges from a perspective that is not just about “slowing” climate change and protecting what is left, but rather about changing the emissions curve and restoring nature. To this end, it aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, globally and throughout its operations and value chain. Moreover, it intends to achieve this without using offsets, but by transforming its energy sources and adapting its cooling equipment and electrifying its transportation and logistics, all by 2040.