To start up the month of November, Penn State Net Impact was able to take over 25 students on a site visit to the Walmart Grocery Distribution Center in Bedford, PA on Friday, November 3 to learn more about sustainability from one of the world’s largest firms. The distribution center has over 700 employees and services over 130 Walmarts and Sam’s Clubs on the East Coast. Students were able to gain a deeper understanding of Walmart’s supply chain, including trigger points and the single-dock vs. multi-dock operations. All shrink wrap used for shipping products is recycled and the introduction of hydrogen batteries for machines has been a huge success in terms of efficiency at charging and cost levels.
The introduction of LED motion-sensor lighting has drastically reduced utility bills. Walmart is currently testing the use of hybrid and driverless trucks. While there is not much food waste at the facility, spoiled food is collected and shipped to be used by local farmers for their livestock. 650 thousand dollars of food are donated to the local Bedford food bank each year. While students enjoyed touring the facility and how Walmart operates, it was a great way to also understand the impact of sustainability on business.
Net Impact looks forward to learning more about Walmart in the future and seeing what they bring to the world of sustainability.