The Major Way Walmart Is Working To Stop Food Waste

Next time you toss out the last few potatoes in the bag for no particular reason other than you need space for your weekly supermarket run, you might want to consider that food waste isn't just a waste of money and a tragic irony in light of the current global struggle with food insecurity. It's also contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and doing damage to the environment, per the World Wildlife Foundation

If you're wondering how that's even possible, consider all the fuel that was already used to grow, transport, and process whatever food you happen to be tossing. Then consider that rotting food produces greenhouse gases, including methane, that gross gas associated with cow farts that has been destroying the ozone layer, which is absolutely necessary to human survival (via Study). Ultimately, food waste in the U.S. is responsible for anywhere from 6% to 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans, according to the World Wildlife Foundation. 

However, it seems that the life-altering circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic may have reduced food waste, according to Food Quality and Safety. Of course, there is still much that can be done going forward, but it starts with small steps. That's the message that initiatives like Food Waste Prevention Week (April 4-8) seek to convey. Nevertheless, the support, sponsorship, and activism of major sponsor Walmart can be game-changing. The brand appears to be going all in with various initiatives and philanthropic partnerships. 

Walmart brings 15 years of sustainability leadership to the food waste reduction table

Walmart is a veteran of food waste reduction initiatives, according to Walmart's SVP of Sustainability Jane Ewing. The store chain just announced a partnership with Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment aimed at cutting West Coast food waste by 50% by the year 2030 (via PR Newswire). That partnership will involve contributing anonymized data on food waste throughout its West Coast operations, among other things. Such data will be aggregated with PCFWC's other retail partners in an effort to close the current information gap cited by the U.N. as an obstacle to reducing global food waste (via VOA News).

Walmart is also one of the major sponsors of Food Waste Prevention Week, a 5-day event designed to educate the public about food waste, why it exacerbates both climate change and food insecurity issues (via USDA), and tips to help prevent food waste (via PR Newswire). 

Walmart is one of 150 partner organizations throwing its weight behind this important awareness-raising initiative. However, Walmart is focusing its food waste reduction efforts with the goal of achieving ZERO waste in its own operations by 2025 in Canada, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S. (per Walmart). In furtherance of that goal, Walmart has been applying data science to better estimate inventory needs, donating excess food to food banks, and converting expired food into animal feed.