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Walmart Centroamérica and the World Environment Center Achieve Significant Energy and Environmental Improvements in El Salvador and Guatemala Supplier Projects

San Salvador, El Salvador, Sept. 16, 2010 – The World Environment Center (WEC), together with Walmart Centroamérica, presented today the final results of their “Greening the Supply Chain” project that launched in January 2009. Over 18 months, from January 2009 through July 2010, 19 suppliers to Walmart Centroamérica actively participated in the program. Some of the most significant successes from these companies include: reduction in fuel usage, minimization of waste water, energy savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Notable savings include:

  • Energy savings: 52.6 megawatt hours
  • Fuel oil savings: 80,937 gallons
  • Product recovery: 1,159 tons
  • Water savings: 3,222 cubic meters
  • CO2 emissions reduction: 988 tons
  • Waste water reduction: 4,758 tons

These activities are an important part of WEC’s Cleaner Production Private Sector Partnerships (CPP) program, funded by the U.S. Department of State. The local suppliers, mainly in the food and beverage sector, that participated in the program strengthened their competitiveness and increased productivity and economic growth.

“We found this project to be a direct extension of our efforts with our suppliers, focusing on sustainable growth and driven by economic incentives,” said Claudia de Ibañez, manager of Corporate Affairs for Walmart Centroamérica in El Salvador.

The Cleaner Production Private Sector Partnerships (CPP) program promotes best practices and technologies among Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in El Salvador and Guatemala by creating partnerships with multinational companies and industrial sector associations. Walmart Centroamérica incorporated its suppliers’ participation in the CPP project through its “Una Mano para Crecer” (A Hand to Grow) supplier development program.

Through the CPP activities, Walmart Centroamérica’s SME suppliers developed the ability to improve their production processes both in terms of sustainability and efficiency. This resulted in greater ability to realize cost savings, strengthen industrial health and safety practices, reduce the use of natural resources, and minimize solid waste. These activities represent a few of the program’s successes, which combined produced a total of $US 426,123 in savings (from investments totaling $US 222,785) over the term of the program.

“Walmart’s participation in this project was a key driver of its success. The SMEs have implemented action plans, based on the recommendations of the Project team, that have not only enhanced their best practices but also have guided them to realize better efficiencies in operations, more sustainable methodologies, and noteworthy cost savings,” said Ernesto Samayoa, Project Director and Director of Latin America Operations for WEC.

About Walmart de México y Centroamérica Walmart de México y Centroamérica is the leading retail company in the region, with 528 stores and about 30,000 associates in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. In México, it is one of the most important commercial chains and operates 1,472 stores. In 2009, Walmart de México approved the acquisition of 100% of shares from Walmart Centroamérica.

The company serves communities where it operates, with five store formats (supermarkets, hypermarkets, “bodega stores”, discount stores, and membership clubs), as well as an agro-industrial unit that supplies produce and private brand products. Walmart de México y Centroamérica's vision is to improve the quality of life for Mexican and Central American families. Annually, it supports different causes related to nutrition, SMEs development and sustainability, among others, benefiting more than 80,000 people in the region.

About World Environment Center The World Environment Center, headquartered in Washington, D.C. with offices and operations in many emerging and developed markets, is unique in its direct application of sustainable development strategies and practices to the business operations of its members. WEC creates sustainable business solutions through individual projects in emerging markets; convenes leadership roundtables to shape strategic thinking across a range of sustainability topics; and honors industry excellence through its annual awarding of the Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development. WEC conducts no advocacy activities.

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