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Walmart On Track To Meet Many Environmental-Sustainability Goals

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WALMART METH LAB
AP

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Monday that it is on track to meet many of its goals for making its operations more environmentally sustainable, but it fell short of some benchmarks.

Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke said in June that environmental sustainability is one of the company's top five priorities. Even small improvements in Wal-Mart's operations can make a big difference because of the massive scale of its retail outlets and global supply chain.

"Understandably, in some areas our progress is slower than we would like, and sometimes we hit temporary roadblocks," Duke said in a statement Monday, as the company released an annual update of its environmental sustainability efforts.

The company said it failed to double its U.S. sales of energy-efficient consumer products compared with 2008. The figure rose just 33.5 percent, in part because products like programmable thermostats aren't sold as often as many other products.

Wal-Mart said it also failed to reduce the level of phosphates in its laundry and dish detergents it sells in the Americas by 70 percent from 2009 levels. The level fell just 43 percent. The company said a major supplier in Mexico and Central America had cut phosphate levels before 2009, which has limited reductions since then.

Wal-Mart said it was on track for its U.S. stores to stop sending any waste to landfills by 2025. By the end of 2011 it sent roughly 20 percent of its waste to landfills. Two years ago, it sent 36 percent of its waste to landfills.

The company said 22 percent of the electricity it used in its global operations during all of 2010 came from renewable sources, while 15 percent of all the energy it used came from renewables. The company is still calculating its renewable use for 2011.

Shares of Wal-Mart rose 81 cents Monday to close at $60.58, near their 52-week high of $62.63, reached in early February. They closed as low as $48.31 in early August.

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