With its global presence, Walmart has influence. When companies of this size leverage their market power in support of zero waste, you can be sure it has an impact. When it comes to adopting a circular economy approach, what can we learn from one of the biggest retailers in the world? Andrew Telfer, Walmart Canada’s Manager of Sustainability joins the 2015 Zero Waste Conference as a panellist for our morning SPARK session: Inglorious Food: Squeezing Waste Out of Food Supply. Find out how Walmart is addressing food waste through initiatives such as support for uniform date labelling, food donation programs, and sustainable agricultural practices. The insights will be of value to any business, regardless of size.
Andrew currently leads the sustainability efforts for Walmart’s Canadian market, and is a Walmart global sustainability leader. He also co-led the company’s world-wide waste-diversion team (dubbed the Zero Heroes) from 2011 to 2013. Andrew is also an active member of the Retail Council of Canada’s sustainability steering committee, and is a director with My Sustainable Canada — a non-profit based in Kitchener, Ontario.
“There are sincere efforts happening all across Walmart Canada to help reduce our impact on the environment,” notes Telfer, in a 2012 interview in Grocery Business magazine. “From diverting more waste from landfill, to building our stores more energy efficiently, and to turning conventional products into more sustainable ones, we are working hard to affect positive change.”
On the food waste front, Walmart’s efforts include donating food for hunger relief and recovering cooking oil to use in bio-diesel, soap, and animal feed. To make it easier for their customers to avoid food waste, the company has been involved in the move towards standardized date labelling for foods, supporting the efforts of the Institute of Food Technologists to create a better framework for ‘best before’ information, so that consumers aren’t throwing away food for no good reason.
With the United Nations estimating that a third of global food production for humans going to waste, and wasted food costing the Canadian economy approximately $31 billion dollars annually, it’s clear that this issue is one where companies can save money and contribute to sustainable practices at the same time. Little wonder that companies like Walmart, looking to succeed in the highly-competitive retail market, are eager to implement the ideas that do good for both the planet and their bottom line.
The SPARK Talk, featuring Feedback founder Tristram Stuart, and an expert panel including Telfer, Dr. Martin Gooch, and Bob Chant promises to deliver vital perspectives on successful approaches. This is a don’t-miss opportunity for anyone who needs to understand how zero waste efforts are playing out in the marketplace… and the impacts those efforts will have on the suppliers and governments that work with and regulate food retailers.
Seats are filling fast and time is running out to register for Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Conference on Thursday, October 29, 2015. Don’t miss this opportunity to benefit from a full day of compelling discussion on zero waste and the circular economy. We’ll showcase leaders from a broad range of backgrounds, offering their perspectives, tackling vital issues, and making zero waste principles a top-of-mind priority for industry, government, and consumers.
This year’s opening keynote speaker is Bill McDonough, renowned for his ground-breaking work on zero waste principles. McDonough, along with Dr. Michael Braungart, is a cofounder of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, and the co-author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things and The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability – Designing for Abundance
Register for Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Conference
Thursday, October 29, 2015, Vancouver Convention Centre East