Walmart pledges to get tough on sustainable goals

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Walmart pledges to get tough on sustainable goals

Supermarket giant Walmart plans to elminate unsustainable palm oil from all its private label products by 2015.

The retail chain's global sourcing vice president Ed Kolodzieski, made the announcement at the company's Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting.

"With private brands our responsiblity is even greater. We write the specification, pick the factory for production and design the packaging," he said.

Next year Walmart will integrate sustainability goals into its joint business planning with all suppliers describing the "scale" of its operations as a help in driving change.

Chief executive officer Mike Duke said the company, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary, was committed to setting "aggresive" goals on reducing waste, energy and promoting sustainable agriculture.

"We have made sustainability one of our pillars of growth. Sustainability is a critical part of our stragetic objectives. It's right for our business and it's the right thing to do."

"When we save money in packaging, reduce fuel costs, it's good for our business," he added.

Initiatives Duke highlighted included Walmart's direct to farm programme, which teaches sustainable agriculture to more than 10,000 farmers in Central America and India.

It has also reduced the amount of waste from its U.S. stores which goes to landfill sites by 80% and slashed U.S. fresh fruit prices by US$1 billion in 2011.

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