The pursuit of sustenance has never been easy, though for most contemporary, first-world denizens, it's a largely consolidated quest. One-stop shopping is the evolutionary novelty that likely propelled Walmart to becoming the country's largest grocer. (Recall: 10,000-plus stores in 27 countries.)
Schraeder, senior manager of sustainability communications at Walmart, said, "For such a big
company, even small changes can make a big difference."
Installing skylights, light sensors, and solar installations can add up between the company's more than 4000 domestic stores, though not all locations implement each practice. The company's evaluating the environmental impact of its food products, too.
"We’re working with
all of our suppliers, some NGOs, some universities to identify each category
that’s sold in the supermarket," Schraeder said. "Cereal might be a category, fresh produce, laundry. We’re working to identify the hot spots in each of those categories. Sometimes it’s
transportation. Sometimes it’s water management. Sometimes it’s packaging. There can be any number of things that are impacting
that product through the supply chain."
In shoppers' case, leverage where it matters.
The trite but hopefully true "vote with your dollars" maxim applies to the company's organic groceries stock.
"Organic is something that
our customers didn’t really buy into," Schraeder said. "We’ve tested it. We still carry it in our
Schraeder said Walmart does source more than 10 percent of its produce locally, meaning from within stores' respective states.