Retailer partners with Packaging Association of Canada for first
sustainability packaging expo; vows to make eco-footprint of packages a
"key component of the decision process"
MISSISSAUGA, ON, June 19 /CNW/ - This Thursday, June 21, Wal-Mart Canada
will host a sustainable packaging exposition, the first of its kind in Canada,
supporting its goal to reduce the packaging on products sold in Wal-Mart
stores by five per cent by 2013. The Toronto event, held in partnership with
the Packaging Association of Canada, will host more than 100 Wal-Mart
suppliers, and will include product buyers from Wal-Mart Canada's home office.
At the Toronto Congress Centre event, Wal-Mart Canada will introduce its new
Packaging Scorecard program, which will assess suppliers' products on the
basis of the sustainability of their packaging.
"Making smarter, sustainable packaging choices is one of the best ways
Wal-Mart and our suppliers can make positive environmental change," said Guy
McGuffin, Vice President and Sustainable Packaging Network Leader, Wal-Mart
Canada Corp. "Through better education and stricter standards, we will make
sustainable packaging a key component of the decision process when we are
selecting products to put on our shelves."
Entitled "Cradle to Cradle," the sustainable packaging exposition,
managed by the Packaging Association of Canada, will educate Wal-Mart Canada's
internal team of product buyers and external suppliers - representing some of
the world's biggest consumer packaged goods companies - on new materials,
technologies and alternatives for traditional packaging. More than 65
exhibitors will demonstrate everything from renewable raw materials to
sustainable package design.
"Ultimately, we want to help businesses eager to adopt a packaging model
whereby materials are used wisely and perpetually or returned to the earth
without negative effect," said James Downham, president and CEO of the
Packaging Association of Canada. "The packaging industry is working diligently
to meet the greener standards of businesses and consumers, making viable
sustainable alternatives available today."
The move to sustainable packaging among product manufacturers and
retailers will focus on reducing the overall eco-footprint required to make,
transport and dispose of product packages. Examples of considerations for
Wal-Mart Canada's Packaging Scorecard, which will be initiated by year's end,
include whether companies are generating greenhouse gas emissions or using
renewable energy to create packaging; whether materials used for packaging can
be reduced, or eliminated; and, when materials are necessary, whether those
materials have residual value and programs available to encourage recycling.
"Many times, we can pick up a cardboard box and see opportunities to
reduce the weight, cube size, and materials used," said Wal-Mart's McGuffin.
"Even small changes can have an immense impact, not just for the environment,
but for our business. When we use less packaging, we spend less on materials,
ship less weight, and require less space in our stores. At the same time,
fewer trees are cut, less energy-intensive production occurs, and less waste
is produced. There's great alignment between environmental and business
Wal-Mart has a growing number of sustainable packaging success stories.
For example, the cardboard box for a product line of toys sold in Wal-Mart
stores across North America was reduced by one square-inch, causing immense
change throughout the supply chain. In one year, cardboard use was reduced by
3,450 tons, PVC plastic was reduced by 600 tons, and 300,000 litres of fuel
was spared. Related cost savings for Wal-Mart amounted to $3 million.
About Wal-Mart Canada Corp.: Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, the
company operates a network of 290 outlets. Globally and in Canada, Wal-Mart
has committed to three long-term sustainability goals: 1. To produce zero
waste; 2. To be powered 100 per cent by renewable energy; and, 3. To make more
environmentally preferable products available to customers.
About the Packaging Association of Canada: PAC is a not-for-profit
Canadian Corp headquartered in Toronto. Included in the 450 corporate
membership are some of Canada's largest companies - Alcan, Apotex, Cascades,
Dupont, Kraft, McDonald's, Nestle, Procter & Gamble and Wal-Mart. PAC is
renown for education and leadership on "cradle to cradle" packaging
For further information:
For further information: Wal-Mart Canada: Christi Gallagher, (905)
821-2111, x. 4042; Packaging Association of Canada: James D. Downham,
President & CEO, (416) 490-7860, x. 211