519 The Coolest Things Ikea, Coca-Cola, and Walmart Are Doing to Cut Waste

Speech Materals


Take, make, and dispose—for years that has been the developed world’s economic model. This consumption cycle led the World Bank to estimate that the globe was on track to produce 6 million metric tons of solid waste per day by 2025, up from 3.5 million metric tons in 2010.

But there are signs the take-make-dispose paradigm is shifting, and some of the world’s largest companies are helping to drive change through their scale.

At Fortune’s Brainstorm E conference in Carlsbad, Calif. on Monday, the chief sustainability officers of Ikea, Walmart WMT -0.11% , and Coca-Cola KO 0.72% discussed what they’re doing to improve their companies’ and consumers’ environmental footprints. Here are some of the coolest ideas we heard:

I – Word Understanding
Take-make-dispose paradigm – an economy model in which resources are taken, made into products, used and then disposed (as garbage/waste)
Sustainability – the ability to continue or last for a long time
Environmental footprints – the impact of human activities on the environment

II – Have Your Say
1. Driving a car, using electricity to light and heat our home, and throwing away garbage all lead to greenhouse gas emissions. What are some simple actions we can do to reduce emissions?
2. Here are some of the cool ideas some companies do to improve their environmental footprints:
Ikea – encourage people to fix broken furnitures or sell pre-loved furnitures.
Ikea – invests 1.6 billion Euros on renewable energy
Coca-cola – is looking at technology to save its water use in all of its production.
Coca-cola – turns recycled bottles into designer bags and scarves
Coca-cola – has big dream: to one day have a bottle that the consumer can eat.
Walmart – to cut back on food waste, they’ve changed “best by” or “sell by” to
“best used by”
Walmart – converts their food waste into biogas

519 The Coolest Things Ikea, Coca-Cola, and Walmart Are Doing to Cut Waste

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