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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sustainability and biocomposites seen as growth areas

From an article by Steve Cahalan in the Winona Daily News:

LA CROSSE, Wis. - The Walmart discount chain is committed to environmental sustainability, which is what its customers want, a company official said Thursday at the second Bioplastic and Biocomposite Supply Chain Conference.

Meanwhile, two local officials said in interviews they anticipate growth in bioplastics and biocomposites manufacturing, which involves using such things as plant-derived fibers and crops such as corn as ingredients.

About 90 people at the event at the Radisson Hotel in La Crosse heard presentations on the future of bioplastics and biocomposites. The conference was hosted by the Wisconsin Office of Energy Independence, the 7 Rivers Alliance and Winona State University.

"Every sector of our company is involved in sustainability and looking at ways that we can incorporate sustainable practices into our business and be a better corporate neighbor, take care of our planet and most of all, give our customers what they want," said Lisa Nelson, Walmart senior manager of public affairs for Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.

Walmart in October 2005 announced three core sustainability goals - to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy, to create zero waste and to sell products that sustain resources and the environment.

Nelson gave examples of the company working toward these goals, such as reducing packaging, more efficient transportation practices that reduce fuel consumption by trucks, and constructing energy-efficient buildings.

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