Wal-Mart invites Novozymes to advise on sustainability

The world’s largest retailer has invited Novozymes to give keynote presentations on sustainable solutions at its supplier conference, “Doing Business in Bentonville”.

The supplier conference, where Wal-Mart’s 100 top suppliers will attend, will be held today in Bentonville, Arkansas, USA, the home of Wal-Mart’s headquarters. The Wal-Mart suppliers cover a wide range of industries from bioethanol to textiles, and many of Novozymes’ biggest customers will be present. Through this conference Wal-Mart is seeking to encourage suppliers to provide products that are both produced in an environmentally friendly manner and help Wal-Mart’s customers to save money.

Novozymes is playing a large part in this process by providing enzymes and microorganisms which help produce consumer products using less energy, water, and raw materials and which will consequently be cheaper and more environmentally friendly.

The enzyme technology is particularly attractive in the current climate of soaring raw material prices and energy costs. For example, Novozymes’ enzymes help the brewing industry produce greater quantities of beer from a smaller supply of malt (malt prices increased 80% in 2007). In addition, enzymes are being used in the food industry to prevent harmful trans-fatty acids in cooking oil and margarine. Novozymes enzymes also allow detergents to clean more efficiently at much lower temperatures. These advances can all help Wal-Mart continue to offer customers cheaper products without sacrificing its commitment to sustainability.

For seven years in a row, Novozymes has been ranked #1 on the Dow Jones Index of Sustainable Technology. In 2007 alone, Novozymes’ products contributed to reducing CO2 emissions by more than 20 million tons globally. For each 1 kg of Novozymes’ enzymes applied in an industrial process an average of 100 kg of CO2 emissions are saved.

“We're proud to be invited by Wal-Mart to present our views on how to make business more sustainable,” says Thomas Videbæk, Executive Vice President of BioBusiness at Novozymes. “We respect their green initiatives and see Wal-Mart as an important driver for sustainable solutions in the retail sector.”

Claus Stig Pedersen, Head of Sustainability Development at Novozymes, comments:

“Wal-Mart has committed itself strongly to sustainability and is probably the strongest driver of sustainable solutions in the global business community today. Wal-Mart is the world’s largest retailer with annual sales of USD 375 billion, 2 million employees, and more than 66,000 suppliers. When Wal-Mart uses this power for the benefit of our planet, it really makes a difference. It's a privilege and a pleasure for Novozymes to share our knowledge about sustainable solutions and practices with Wal-Mart and its suppliers and thereby contribute to realizing the vision of sustainability.”

Novozymes will be hosting a number of side events, exhibitions, and discussion forums following the conference, where participants can learn more about sustainable solutions from Novozymes, and how they could benefit their business.

You can read more about the event at www.doingbusinessinbentonville.com