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Wegmans, Walmart Demonstrate Commitment to Sustainability

Reducing waste and installing car charging stations were among the highlights

Major retailers Wegmans and Walmart both revealed efforts to up sustainability practices Wednesday as Earth Day draws closer.

Wegmans rolled out its Zero Waste program—which was tested successfully in one store beginning in 2016—to five additional stores, and voiced plans to continue its expansion in the near future. The initiative was launched in partnership with sustainable cloud-based waste and recycling solution company Rubicon Global, and works toward "eliminating all forms of waste at its stores, with food waste front and center."

“Food waste is how we can make the most significant change, not only for what’s ending up in landfills, bur for our communities as well,” said Jason Wadsworth, Wegmans' manager of sustainability, in a statement. 

Walmart's newest sustainability efforts will entail more than doubling its electric vehicle charging sites, with the addition of several hundred charging stalls across its operations in 34 states, bringing the total number of units to more than 1,000. Several of the new stations will feature enhanced-speed chargers that can charge cars between 10 and 30 minutes. 

Additionally, Walmart is taking steps toward its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its value chain by a gigaton, or 1 billion metric tons, by 2030 as part of its Project Gigaton initiative launched last April. According to the retailer, its suppliers have reportedly already reduced more than 20 million metric tons (MMT) of greenhouse gas emissions in the global value chain.

“In its first year, Project Gigaton has helped to inspire action that has led to the avoidance of millions of metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and has expanded into an international campaign that includes the participation of several hundred suppliers,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, SVP and chief sustainability officer for Walmart. “The early success of Project Gigaton parallels ongoing progress in our operational efforts that seek to double our U.S. renewable energy use and expand our customer electric vehicle charging hubs to retail outlets across more than 30 states.”

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