Walmart Makes Back to School More Sustainable

Abby Kleckler
Senior Digital & Tech Editor
Walmart Makes Back to School More Sustainable
Walmart's new sustainable sourcing requirements for paper and pulp products drives the retailer's zero net deforestation goal.

Walmart is implementing changes toward greater sustainability by strengthening its sourcing requirements for products that contain paper and pulp sold in its stationery departments. These higher standards apply to both private label and national brands.  

All products, excluding wood pencils, must be made from either recycled material, virgin fiber certified to standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), or a mix of recycled and certified virgin fiber.

"This move is part of Walmart’s larger goals related to deforestation, which highlight a preference for FSC certification," said Chasity Prince, Walmart's senior buyer of stationery, in a blog post. "And though the move to more sustainably sourced paper means additional requirements for buyers and suppliers, it’s a change we’re willing to make because it promotes forest health and preservation of forest resources into the future."

Packaging on products will have FSC, SFI, PEFC or 100% recycled logos visible on all products.

"Purchasing paper products made with fiber from responsibly managed forests or recycled fiber is an important action consumers can take to help sustain forests for people and nature," said Linda Walker, senior director, forests, World Wildlife Fund. "We applaud the step Walmart is taking to strengthen its stationery sourcing requirements and help its customers be part of the solution."

Carrying more sustainable supplies is just one change Walmart is making for its back-to-school section this year amid the COVID-19 health crisis. The retailer is also focusing on helpful tools for virtual learning through partnerships with ABC Mouse, PBS Kids, Disney, Crayola and Sylvan Learning.  

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