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What does “zero waste” actually mean? Walmart defines it as meeting or exceeding Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA) business recognition program requirements.
“In 2005, Walmart began to look at the interplay of waste and usable materials and to seriously examine our own operations, looking for ways to reduce waste of all kinds,” the company’s latest sustainability report says. “Today we have a deeper understanding of the challenges and are engaging suppliers and customers in pursuit of the circular economy.”
Their overall waste reduction strategy involves: measuring waste, reducing waste from non-food items and packaging, and reducing food waste in their operations.
Understanding waste drivers is key for the company. In FY2018, Walmart reports establishing a 2016 waste baseline for their Canada, Japan, U.K. and U.S. operations. They used the Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard (FLW Standard) developed by a partnership that includes World Resources Institute, CGF, Food and Agriculture Organization.
Tackling Food Waste
Globally, Walmart aims to reduce food waste in operations by:
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