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Walmart aims to increase innovation in sustainable agriculture

Walmart joined with chief executive officers from more than a dozen global companies to sign new commitments that accelerate innovation in sustainable agriculture and recycling. The pledges kicked off Walmart’s inaugural Sustainable Product Expo, a three-day collaboration to expand the availability of products that sustain people and the environment. Together, the participating suppliers represent more than $100 billion in sales at Walmart.

Eight of the largest food companies announced pledges to help ensure that tomorrow’s food supply is affordable and sustainable for the 9 billion people projected to inhabit the planet by 2050. The commitments aim to drive more collaboration and efficiency across the current food system. In total, this work is expected to bring 8 million acres of farmland into sustainable agriculture programs and eliminate 6 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Additionally, companies joined with Walmart and the Walmart Foundation in announcing plans to launch a groundbreaking recycling initiative called the Closed Loop Fund, with the goal of making recycling available to all Americans. The fund aims to invest $100 million in recycling infrastructure projects and spur private and public funding for transforming the recycling system in the United States.

“Walmart and our suppliers recognize that collaboration is the key to bringing sustainable solutions to all of our customers,” Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart Stores Inc., said in a press release. “A great deal of innovative work is happening every day, but there are still too many gaps and missed opportunities. Today’s commitments are about creating real systems change from one end of the supply chain to the other — meaning how products are grown and made, how they’re transported and sold, and how we touch the lives of people along the way.”

“No one should have to choose between products that are sustainable and products they can afford,” Manuel Gomez, vice president of sustainability for Walmart, said in the press release. “We want to make sustainability easy by taking the guesswork out of values-based shopping. Accessibility and transparency really put the customer in the driver’s seat.”

For more information on the Sustainable Product Expo, and to view the webcast replay of event highlights, visit http://news.walmart.com/events/sustainability-product-expo-2014.