HONG KONG, July 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Walmart Asia today highlighted significant progress that the company has made in reducing waste throughout its Asia operations.
Three of the key programs that 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.
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 an effort to avoid food waste, in line with the company’s global practice, Walmart Japan always strives to accurately estimate, order and stock the amount of products it needs and performs timely freshness checks to guarantee freshness and reduce throwaway. However there is sometimes excess food. Walmart has therefore partnered with Second Harvest, the oldest food bank NGO in Japan, to donate this 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.