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Wal-Mart Takes Sustainability Efforts to Suppliers

Wal-Mart has launched Sustainability 360, a company-wide program that will try and engage Wal-Mart’s associates, suppliers, communities and customers.

“Sustainability 360 takes in our entire company – our customer base, our supplier base, our associates, the products on our shelves, the communities we serve,” Chief Executive Lee Scott said during an environmental speech in London. “And we believe every business can look at sustainability in this way. In fact, in light of current environmental trends, we believe they will and soon.”

With the sheer number of suppliers that work with Wal-Mart, and how important it is to those suppliers to be on Wal-Mart’s shelves, the initiative could be far-reaching.

“Just think about this: What if we worked with our suppliers to take non-renewable energy off our shelves and out of the lives of our customers? We could create metrics and share best practices so our suppliers could make products that rely less and less on carbon-based energy,” Scott said.

Scott highlighted Wal-Mart’s initiative to work with suppliers to reduce packaging by five percent by 2013 — an effort that will be equal to removing 213,000 trucks from the road, and saving approximately 324,000 tons of coal and 67 million gallons of diesel fuel per year.

Last month Wal-Mart opened its first energy-efficient store in Kansas City, Mo. The company has also set a goal of selling 100 million energy-efficient compact flourescents by 2008.

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