Wal-Mart will sell only concentrated detergent in all of its U. S. stores by early May, 2008 - more than 800 million units over the next three years alone. This commitment will, in effect, move the retail industry from standard sized to concentrated liquid detergent bottles. By estimating the annual purchases of all Wal-Mart customers over the next three years, we anticipate the impact of this effort will save:
-more than 400 million gallons of water;
-more than 95 million pounds of plastic resin; and
-more than 125 million pounds of cardboard.
The potential savings in the industry estimated to be four times as much.
At Wal-Mart, we believe that people should not have to choose between products they can afford and environmentally friendly products. We also commit to educating our associates and customers about the benefits of concentrated laundry detergent and will:
-provide interactive displays at select Wal-Mart stores to help customers understand product and environmental benefits;
-market concentrated laundry detergent through promotions in print publications, on Wal-Mart TV and at walmart.com; and
-educate associates through Wal-Mart's internal communications channels.
Partnering closely with suppliers, Wal-Mart made the decision to offer only concentrated detergent, and leading manufacturers began transforming their facilities to accommodate this request, leaving less capacity for old-fashioned detergents with high water content. This influenced other retailers to move toward selling only the concentrated version of liquid detergents. In effect, Wal-Mart's initiative is helping transform the entire industry.
October 1, 2007
Beginning October 1, 2007, Wal-Mart will start to transition all liquid laundry detergent sold at its discount stores, Supercenters, Sam's Clubs and Neighborhood Markets to small, concentrated liquid laundry detergent. Full conversion for all stores and clubs is expected by early May, 2008.
Wal-Mart and Sam's Club have set three goals to help them become a more sustainable company: to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy, create zero waste, and sell products that sustain the environment and the earth's natural resources. As part of these goals and their Sustainability 360 approach, Wal-Mart is working closely with its global suppliers to drive efficiencies in the supply chain, and utilize new and innovative sustainable products, such as concentrated liquid laundry detergent.
A single bottle of concentrated laundry detergent uses approximately half the water and 20 to 40 percent less plastic than the standard size, depending on the brand. The technology to concentrate liquid detergent has been available for more than a decade, but only recently implemented due to growing interest. Approximately 25 percent of the liquid laundry detergent sold in the United States is sold through Wal-Mart Stores.
In 2005, Wal-Mart initiated a partnership with Unilever to dramatically reduce the packaging of its 'all®' detergent. In February 2006, Unilever unveiled 'all® small-and-mighty,' which is three-times concentrated, and contains enough detergent to wash the same 32 loads as a 100-oz. bottle. Wal-Mart helped bring the product to market by promising equal or greater shelf space despite the smaller product size. The company also provided substantial marketing and public relations support, including promotional support from Wal-Mart's CEO and other senior executives.
The success of this partnership led Wal-Mart to work with suppliers throughout the laundry detergent industry, including P&G, Unilever, Dial, Huish, and Church & Dwight, to offer their own concentrated laundry detergents. We continue to work together to build customer acceptance and reinforce the value of sustainable products to consumers.