Walmart Asia reported continued progress in reducing waste throughout its Asia operations.
Three of the key programs that it said have helped drive the improvements are the company’s Trash to Cash initiative in India, Food waste reduction program in Japan and Canvas pallet wrapping initiative in China.
"We strive as much as possible to eliminate or at the very least reduce wastage wherever possible, whether that be through becoming more efficient, through using excess to benefit those people in our community that need help, or through ethical sourcing. We believe these are some of the many ways we can play a positive role in the communities in which we operate," said Greg Foran, CEO & President of Walmart Asia.
The company said more than 750 tons of plastic wrap have been saved as a result of an initiative developed by warehouse operatives in China. Reusable canvas belts were created to secure the contents on pallets, eliminating the need for one-time use plastic wrap. The belts have been adopted across nine of Walmart China’s distribution centers.
In India, Walmart has partnered with the Society for Child Development (SFCD) to make use of fresh flowers that were previously thrown away. These waste flowers are collected every morning outside the temples and from Yamuna River, sorted and then turned into eco-friendly Holi organic and herbal colors that Walmart then sells through its Best Price Modern Wholesale stores to cater to the annual festival of colors of Holi.
This undertaking expanded to sourcing bulk Diwali (Indian Festival of Lights) merchandise. The program has been so successful that the Department of Environment in Delhi has extended its full support to the initiative by providing vans for collection of waste flowers.
In Japan, Walmart has partnered with Second Harvest, the oldest food bank NGO in Japan, to donate excess food from stores to local welfare facilities. More than 52 stores are now part of the program and Walmart Japan plans to expand that to 150 by 2016.
Walmart currently operate more than 850 stores in China, India and Japan, serving 25 million customers every week. As of 2013, Walmart Asia employs over 130,000 associates.