Walmart (NYSE: WMT) is hosting its inaugural Sustainable Product Expo, bringing together buyers, suppliers, nonprofits and government agencies. The three-day event explores the production and distribution of sustainable products and initiatives and spurs collaboration between retailers and brands.
And while the expo runs through Thursday, key announcements include a new partnership with Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) to help create a 25 percent reduction in water per dose for all liquid laundry detergent.
Walmart has also made pledges to optimize an estimated 10 million acres of farmland. Walmart last year set a goal of optimizing 14 million acres of farmland with the potential to reduce seven million metric tons of GHGs. As part of Walmart's goal to source 15 percent of its beef supply with environmental criteria by 2023, the retailer has developed a small-scale pilot focused on improved visibility in the beef supply chain.
Among the executives promoted as attending the meeting are Kellogg Company (NYSE: K), Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO), Unilever (NYSE: UL), Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), among others. Together, the participating suppliers represent more than $100 billion in sales at Walmart.
"A great deal of innovative work is happening every day, but there are still too many gaps and missed opportunities," said Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart. "Today's commitments are about creating real systems change from one end of the supply chain to the other — meaning how products are grown and made and how they're transported and sold."
Walmart is hosting the expo alongside the development of its new sustainability store on walmart.com. The shopping portal, expected to launch by the end of 2014, will allow customers to easily identify brands that are leading sustainability within a category via a special icon.
Walmart also announced that it has partnered with the Walmart Foundation to launch a recycling initiative called the Closed Loop Fund, with the goal of making recycling available to all Americans. The Fund aims to invest $100 million in recycling infrastructure projects and spur private and public funding for transforming the recycling system in the U.S.
-See this Walmart press release
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