Wal-Mart, Bentonville, Arkansas, has joined up with CEOs from more than a dozen companies to sign commitments designed to “accelerate innovation in recycling and sustainable agriculture.”
The pledges were announced during Wal-Mart’s inaugural Sustainable Product Expo (Click here to watch video the expo.), a three-day event Wal-Mart says was designed “to expand the availability of products that sustain people and the environment.”
The participating companies represent more than $100 billion in sales at Wal-Mart. The firms signing the pledge include Campbell Soup Co., Cargill, Dairy Farmers of America, General Mills, Monsanto, Kellogg Co., PepsiCo, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, Keurig Green Mountain Inc., Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson, Unilever and Wal-Mart itself.
The companies say they will launch a recycling initiative called the Closed Loop Fund, which has a 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 United States,” according to the participating companies.
“Wal-Mart and our suppliers recognize that collaboration is the key to bringing sustainable solutions to all of our customers,” says Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. “A great deal of innovative work is happening every day, but there are still too many gaps and missed opportunities. 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, how they’re transported and sold and how we touch the lives of people along the way.”
Wal-Mart says the five key commitments the parties will focus on are:
- creating economic value for cities by reducing disposal fees and increasing revenue from the sale of recyclable commodities;
- creating local jobs and community engagement;
- increasing the supply and use of affordable postconsumer recycled materials in consumer goods;
- preserving natural resources; and
- facilitating innovative private sector investment to support recycling.