Environmental Hot Spots


We invest in innovations that address soil health, water stewardship, the reduction of plastic waste, the prevention and recovery of food waste and deforestation.

More than a decade ago, Walmart set out to achieve three aspirations: achieve zero waste, be powered by 100% renewable energy and deliver more sustainable products that customers can trust. Since setting these goals, Walmart has invited suppliers to join in these sustainability efforts through initiatives like Project Gigaton.

Creating sustainable supply chains is extremely complex, and finding solutions requires the engagement of business, government, philanthropy and local communities. We utilize philanthropy to help address these issues by investing in innovations or ideas that can scale over time. Because we work across several supply chains and geographies, we do not limit our giving to a single commodity or issue.

Our philanthropy in this area is focused on soil health, water stewardship, reduction of plastic waste, prevention and recovery of food waste and deforestation.

Dr. Wayne Honeycutt
Dr. Wayne Honeycutt (left) with the Soil Health Institute, and Russell Hedrick (right) examine the soils on Hedrick’s farm in North Carolina.

Our Focus Areas

Our philanthropy is focused on four areas:
Food Waste: Prevention and Recovery

Walmart.org uses philanthropy to support initiatives aimed at reducing food waste and loss across the supply chain, from farm to fork (or source to spoon). We focus on minimizing food waste with funding for programs in the U.K., Canada and the U.S. in two areas:

Prevention
To increase prevention of food waste and loss, we fund programs that advance food waste measurement tools to identify where to best put efforts across supply chains. We also fund programs that support research and test innovative solutions to drive behavior change.

Recovery
We invest in technology and transportation capacity to facilitate more efficient food recovery. We also fund innovative approaches to distribute fresh food more quickly to people in need, such as in re-processing food and helping to better connect food available for donation with organizations who are able to distribute it.


Grantee Spotlight

In 2018, a Walmart Foundation grant was awarded to Second Harvest to develop and launch FoodRescue.ca, an online system that assists businesses to quickly and easily donate surplus food, matching donors to recipients based on area and quantity of food available for donation.

Deforestation

Walmart.org uses philanthropy to support efforts that increase the environmental sustainability of high risk commodities and reduce harmful environmental impacts from supply chain commodities, particularly those that have impacts on the destruction and degradation on global forests. These efforts range from funding research evaluations on industry tools and standards to technical mapping of commodities to determine the relationship between specific farming practices and deforestation trends.


Grantee Spotlight

In 2018, the Walmart Foundation funded the Conservation International Foundation to further the understanding of the enabling environment around a growing industry focus: Jurisdictional Approaches. This ongoing work centers on a global evaluation of high-risk supply chains and distilling the factors that allow for effective Jurisdictional Approaches to deforestation, including market signal strength, presence of government and community engagement levels. This work seeks to ultimately provide data insights and guidance for regions where this type of strategy is to be implemented.

Reducing Plastic Waste

Walmart.org invests in strategic efforts to reduce the harmful impact of plastic waste on the environment, leveraging science and industry to bring about positive change in the three following areas:

  • Materials Innovation
  • Recycling Infrastructure
  • Consumer Behavior

Grantee Spotlight

In 2019, the Walmart Foundation funded the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to move the needle on the national recycling average, through support of the Beyond 34 project. Beyond 34 is developing a toolkit for effective city recycling programs by piloting interlinked community, advocacy, and infrastructure projects and serving as a convening agent of key public and private change-makers. The goal of this project is to create a model that can be applied at scale across the U.S. in any city.

Soil Health and Water Stewardship

Walmart.org supports programs that bring more sustainable practices to the agriculture industry. Farming practices that improve soil health and reduce water consumption can help to protect natural resources for communities.


Grantee Spotlight

In 2019, the Walmart Foundation supported the Soil Health Institute in its mission to drive uptake of more sustainable practices on farms, including cover crops usage, no-till farming and crop rotation, while piloting a farmer-mentor and community of practice approach across six states in the cotton belt. Additionally, the Soil Health Institute will leverage new mobile technologies to help farmers better capture progress based on these practices.

Applications are by invitation only for 501(c)(3) organizations (or equivalent organizations outside the U.S.) whose work directly relates to the above focus areas. Unsolicited proposals will not be accepted.