Walmart Canada invites customers to voice product packaging concerns online



    MISSISSAUGA, ON, May 6 /CNW/ - As part of its commitment to become a
zero-waste business, Walmart Canada has extended an open invitation to
consumers to voice concerns about specific products with excessive or
inappropriate packaging. Canadians can now submit details of their concerns at
Walmart Canada's sustainability web site, www.forthegreenergood.ca, where they
will be registered by the company and provided directly to product suppliers
and manufacturers.
    "No matter what the issue, the best truth-test for any retailer or
product supplier is customer feedback," said David Cheesewright, Walmart
Canada's CEO and president. "We have set ambitious sustainability goals for
our company, we have established new standards with our suppliers, but our
customers will ultimately determine how far is far enough."
    Cheesewright announced the customer feedback program today in remarks to
a gathering of 1,000 product suppliers and sustainable packaging experts. He
also announced plans to hold product manufacturers more accountable for their
packaging choices, and to reduce product packaging in Walmart Canada stores by
5 per cent by 2013.
    It is estimated that just 8 per cent of the environmental impact of
Walmart's business is directly tied to its business operations, and that the
remaining 92 per cent relates to products, including packaging. To support its
waste reduction goals, Walmart Canada is introducing a packaging scorecard to
assess suppliers based on their packaging, including the quantity and
qualities of materials used. Scorecard results will play a role in the
company's decision to stock products going forward.
    Today's event, titled "Sustainable Packaging: A Strategic Imperative,"
was the third of its kind hosted by Walmart Canada and the Packaging
Association of Canada. The event included presentations and panels with the
CEOs of Canadian companies like Procter & Gamble, Hewlett Packard and Kraft.
    Recent comments from Ontario's premier, Dalton McGuinty, suggesting
customers should leave excess packaging at retail stores, growing demands for
legislated terms for extended producer responsibility, and improved technology
and packaging innovation have all contributed to the growing focus on
sustainable packaging.
    "It certainly seems that packaging is a growing focus for anyone talking
about environmental sustainability in retail," said Cheesewright. "In addition
to our many other sustainability initiatives, packaging is an area of our
business where Walmart's scale can drive substantial industry-wide change for
our thousands of suppliers, and our millions of customers."

    Walmart Canada operates a growing chain of 312 stores nationwide, serving
more than one million Canadians daily. With 80,000 associates, the company is
Canada's fourth largest employer. Walmart has three long-term global
sustainability commitments: 1. To operate a zero-waste business; 2. To operate
with 100% renewable energy; 3. To provide Canadian customers products that
sustain resources and the environment.





For further information:

For further information: Kevin Groh, Corporate Affairs, Walmart Canada,
(905) 821-2111 x. 8012


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