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Sam’s Club collaborates with high-tech, sustainable produce supplier

SAm's club
Sam’s Club is sourcing sustainable leafy green produce.

Sam’s Club will obtain leafy greens from a leading-edge greenhouse facility operated by a third-party partner.

The warehouse club retailer, a subsidiary of discount giant Walmart, is teaming up with Local Bounti Corp., a U.S. indoor agriculture company that combines aspects of vertical and greenhouse growing technologies. Sam's Club is contracting leafy greens production with the company starting at Local Bounti’s advanced greenhouse facility in Byron, Ga.

Local Bounti will implement its proprietary “Stack & Flow” solution at its new facility in Georgia. Stack & Flow technology supports a method of indoor farming designed to improve crop turns, increase output and improve unit economics. Through this process, Local Bounti can grow produce in an environmentally friendly manner that increases harvest efficiency and reduces the cost and carbon footprint of the production and distribution process.

According to Local Bounti, the technology is over 30 times more productive per acre than traditional agriculture, using 90% less water and land than conventional farming methods. 

"This exciting commercial development represents a powerful endorsement of our dedicated team that works tirelessly to deliver the highest quality locally grown produce to our customers," said Brian Cook, president of Local Bounti. "We will continue to pursue sound capital allocation with a keen eye on capital efficiency as we further expand our operations.  Today's announcement demonstrates the advantages of our existing national relationships and how that knowledge informs the advancement of our facility network."

Sam’s Club, Walmart pursue sustainable operations
Both Sam’s Club and its parent company Walmart have been actively attempting to become more environmentally responsible organizations. In April 2022, Sam’s Club began shifting its Member’s Mark private label brand to become sustainability-driven.

Since 2020, Sam's Club has launched, renovated, and reformulated more than 1,200 Member’s Mark items, and more recently released a new tagline, "Made with Our Member and Planet in Mind.”

Specific goals Sam’s Club has set for Member’s Mark products to meet by 2025 include:

  • Meeting animal welfare guidelines.
  • Antibiotics-free poultry.
  • Sustainably sourced seafood.
  • Cage-free eggs.
  • Fair Trade-certified coffee, tea and cocoa.
  • Responsibly sourced paper, pulp and timber.
  • 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging.

The company also intends to incorporate more recyclable, reusable, and industrially compostable components in Member's Mark items and packaging. Additionally, Sam's Club plans to reduce the brand's environmental footprint by calling for suppliers of Member's Mark items to participate in Walmart's private sector consortium to reduce or avoid one billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, Project Gigaton.

Meanwhile, Walmart has formally committed to becoming a “regenerative” company — helping to renew people and the planet through its business. The retail giant detailed progress towards its goal in its 2022 “Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report.”

[Read more: Walmart details ESG progress]

In the area of sustainability, Walmart reported that is continuing to make progress toward its science-based targets for emissions reduction (for example, reporting a 17.5% reduction in FY2021 relative to baseline for Scope 1 and 2 emissions). The company also said it has crossed the halfway mark toward reaching its goal to reduce or avoid one billion metric tons (a gigaton) of greenhouse gas emissions from the global value chain by 2030.

To date, suppliers report having reduced or avoided more than 574 million metric tons of supply chain emissions. In addition, Walmart reiterated its commitment to help protect, restore or more sustainably manage 50 million acres of land and 1 million square miles of ocean by 2030.

Sam's Club, a division of Walmart Inc. operates nearly 600 stores across the U.S., including Puerto Rico.

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