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Sustainability á la Walmart

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Moving toward sustainability requires taking big, game-changing moves and smaller ones as well, says Walmart’s senior vice president of sustainability Matt Kistler.

Walmart currently has three sustainability goals: (1) to be supplied 100% by renewable energy; (2) to create zero waste; and (3) to sell products that sustain people and the environment. The company employs a 360-degree approach to put a sustainability focus on associates, operations, suppliers and customers.

For leaders trying to follow suit, one key is to seek out opportunities that positively affect the environment and result in cost savings, says Kistler.

For example, Walmart has focused on packaging changes, leading to enormous cost savings. Local managers have come up with low-tech, high-impact initiatives. One manager, for example, suggested unplugging the lights on break room vending machines—which led to hefty energy savings.

— Adapted from “Walmart exec discusses the first step toward sustainability,” Retail’s BIG Blog.

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