Wal-Mart Gives Big Boost to Rebuilding Schools | October 2008
The China-U.S. Center’s effort to build sustainable schools, China got a big boost in funding when Wal-Mart Vice Chairman, Michael Duke, announced the company will make a donation of 6 million RMB (approximately $880,000) to support the program. The announcement of support was made at the beginning of a Sustainability Summit convened by Wal-Mart in Beijing for its 800 largest Chinese suppliers.
The Rebuilding Schools Sustainably program was developed by the Center following the May 12, 2008 Sichuan earthquake that destroyed or severely damaged over 7,000 schools and displaced millions of school children in Sichuan and neighboring provinces in China. The grant will assist in the construction of a school incorporating safe and sustainable design features. The experience from designing and constructing the school will be evaluated for other rebuilding efforts.
In making the announcement, Duke stated that the Sustainability Summit was an ideal occasion to share Wal-Mart’s support for green schools. “We are pleased to join in this important initiative that seeks to address the safety of children, their long term education and the environmental footprint of schools,” he said.
The initiative is supported by China’s ministries of Science and Technology and Housing and Urban-Rural Development. Tongji University in Shanghai is a key member of the collaborative design team. The international team includes a group of innovative U.S. architects, engineers and energy specialists who have volunteered their services to develop the seismically safe and sustainable design concepts for the schools program. Up to this point, the largest single donation was $50,000 from Herman Miller, Inc., a leading global provider of high quality office furniture and services.
“What happened in Sichuan and neighboring provinces was devastating. As we assist in the rebuilding effort, we can use this opportunity to improve the lives of these children and seek a way to build in harmony with nature,” said Dr. Wayne Lei, Chairman of the Board for the Center’s US Secretariat – the International Sustainable Development Foundation, a 501 © (3) non profit organization. “We know that Wal-Mart’s leadership will inspire others to contribute to this exciting campaign.”
At the Summit, the schools’ initiative enjoyed prominent visibility thanks to an ingeniously designed exhibit made out of eco friendly Xanita Board and donated by EA International/Xanita USA.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom and, through a joint venture, in India. The Company’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.
The China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development is a public-private partnership that conducts projects and training with the aim of putting sustainable principles into practice. For more information, visit www.chinauscenter.org. To join in support of the Rebuilding Sichuan Schools Sustainably program, please contact Joe Marcotte (1-503-279-9383) in the US.