Horace Greeley may have advised young men to “Go West”, but if you really want to see the future of Wal-Mart’s sustainability initiatives you should look east from Bentonville and across the pond to announced a commitment that by 2010 it will stop sending any waste at all from its 307 stores to landfills. Everything will be recycled, reused or composted.
Further ASDA has pledged to redesign all ASDA brand packaging over the next year-and-a-half, which it thinks can reduce weight by 10%.
It explains that careful attention to packaging has let it reduce the thickness of salad bags by 15% and gotten rid of some excess cardboard in the packaging on prepared foods.
This is very top-down driven, as Lee Scott has identified sustainability as a key focus.
He likes it because it is one of the few areas where Wal-Mart can both win props with its critics and, maybe, save money.
There was a big meeting with suppliers in Bentonville on sustainability earlier this year. The message: We are going to need, and expect, a lot of help on this.
Of course, Wal-Mart and its suppliers are not alone in working to solve this problem. Consumers are being asked to help as well. ASDA runs numerous efforts to tie in with the national “Big Recycle” project to entice consumers to recycle.
Can they do it? Yes they can! They’ve called in Bob the Builder to encourage everyone to recycle at ASDA. And if that doesn’t work? Well, there is always ASDA’s Easter Bunny!