May 12, 2010
As prepared for delivery
Thank you, Terry (Yosie), and good evening, everyone. It's a great pleasure to be back at the Gold Medal Presentation here on the 26th anniversary of the World Environment Center.
And it's a true privilege tonight to be sharing the dais with three gentlemen -- President Clinton, our honoree, Lee Scott, and Terry -- all of whom I admire greatly and whose organizations are doing incredible work to help create a more sustainable world.
Indeed, we would all be hard pressed to find three organizations that have done more these past few years to advance sustainable business practices than the World Environment Center, The Clinton Global Initiative, and our wonderful customer and partner, Walmart.
It's hard to believe that a year has already gone by since I had the honor of accepting the Gold Medal Award on behalf of our 700,000
I am pleased to say that in these last 365 days, the men and women of
On the water stewardship front, for instance, we recently embarked on an ambitious 6-year, $30 million dollar commitment to provide clean water in Africa. The RAIN -- or Replenish Africa Initiative -- is one of the largest corporate commitments to water stewardship in the world.
On the sustainable packaging front, this past November we rolled out the first of more than 2 billion PlantBottles that will be produced by the end of this year. These innovative PET bottles are made partially from plants and are 100 percent recyclable -- a first.
On the energy management and climate protection fronts, this past winter we announced with Greenpeace that 100 percent of our new vending machine and cooler purchases will be hydro-flouro-carbon-free by 2015. We believe this step will help accelerate a market shift in commercial refrigeration away from HFCs, which have been linked to ozone depletion and climate change.
I am also pleased to say we made great progress this past year working with WEC, President Clinton and Walmart on a number of important initiatives.
For instance, working with WEC, the U.S. State Department and
With President Clinton, I had the privilege of participating in the Clinton Global Initiative this past year, where we announced our commitment to create more economic opportunities for women across our supply chain in the developing world.
And just a few weeks ago, President Clinton, the Prime Minister of Haiti Jean-Max Bellerive, President of the Inter-American Development Bank Luis Alberto Moreno, and several other leaders joined me in announcing our Haiti Hope Project to create opportunity for 25,000 Haitian mango farmers and their families. As part of this $7.5 million dollar initiative, we developed a new mango drink called Haiti Hope, which is now available in Walmart stores. We will direct all profits from this beverage to help support mango farmers and their families.
And, of course, with Walmart this past year, we continued to build on the successes of several environmental sustainability initiatives we've launched together around the world.
Which leads to our honoree this evening: Ladies and gentlemen, when you think about global business leaders who have truly changed the game when it comes to advancing sustainable business practices my friend Lee Scott sits right at the top of that list.
Since 2005, when Lee first announced Walmart's aspirations to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy; create zero waste; and sell products that sustain our resources and environment -- the world's largest and most powerful retail system has helped fundamentally change the world. And we are all in a better place today because of it.
For these and so many other reasons, I am truly honored to be back here tonight to help pay tribute to Lee and to Walmart, and to encourage everyone here to keep up the good work to create a more sustainable future. We can never, ever, let this important work be relegated to the backburner. Our families, our businesses, our communities and our collective future lie in the balance.
More on Journey
- Release of Chinese Deer into Natural Environment Marks New Step for Nearly Extinct Species
- Building a Stronger Community for Refugee Youth in Turkey
- Getting to the Corps: Young (and Sometimes Unlikely) Conservationists Reflect on Their Time in L.A.’s Backyard Forest
- Project Last Mile Expands to Strengthen Health Systems in Liberia and Swaziland
- What Will it Take to Make the World’s Biggest Companies Sustainable?