According to a report recently generated by Walmart, the future is nothing but green.
The company has set goals to achieve zero waste in facilities located in Canada, Japan, the UK and the United States by 2025. Behind the scenes, the big box giant has already been making mighty strides toward this goal. For example, by the end of 2017, 81 percent of unsold products, packaging and other waste was diverted from U.S. landfills. Globally, 78 percent was diverted.
This has been an ongoing project for Walmart with the planning process starting way back in 2005. The company not only intends to reduce the waste created by its own stores and warehouses, it intends to reduce waste throughout the rest of its supply chain.
Speaking to its Audience
Green supply chains aren’t anything new, there’s been enthusiastic chatter about them for well over a decade, but it has been hard to get companies on the green bandwagon, especially during the recession. However, today’s economic environment is a very different place, customers feel more like they can spend money and brands are coming back swinging.
But today’s consumer is a considerably different person than they were a decade ago.
Environmental protection and basic sustainability are vital goals for Millennials, the generation that everyone wants to woo. Walmart did what any smart retailer would do. It got in front of the competition and started going green before anyone else was willing to make the investment.
What Walmart’s Green Initiative Means for Your Business
Walmart’s making its supply chains as efficient as possible is a move that will affect each and every member of the retail world.
Customers may no longer stop at “Is this a good deal?” and instead add “How green is this company?” to their product purchase consideration. A zero-waste approach is just one way to leverage an under-utilized benefit that Millennials appreciate.
Does this mean that your business has to go green right now? No, of course not. But it will mean you need to move toward reusing more and throwing less away. If your in-house returns management team can’t handle the added burden, many established reverse logistics companies have long-standing relationships with secondary market supplies and recyclers that can reduce your impact on the planet.
It will be interesting to see what happens to transportation and manufacturing costs as Walmart encourages them to reduce their own waste production. Will prices go up? Will they stay the same? They almost certainly won’t go down much.