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  • 06/28/2012 - WALMART GREEN ROOM: The Intersection of Philanthropy and Sustainability

    The Intersection of Philanthropy and Sustainability

    By Melissa Trumpower

    Have you ever wondered what happens to the products that sit in a warehouse or the back room of a retail store because they aren?t selling? Or the excess inventory manufacturers find sitting in their warehouses when supply overtakes demand? These perfectly usable goods are often added to our already overflowing landfills or liquidated for pennies on the dollar.

    What if those products were donated to the nation?s already overburdened safety-net programs? One in six Americans lives in poverty today and, according to the Nonprofit Finance Fund, 88 percent of nonprofit organizations expect an increase in service demand in 2012.

    Good 360 Child With Bearable BagGood360 is an example of how philanthropic efforts can contribute to sustainability goals, and vice versa. As the nonprofit leader in product philanthropy, we find creative and innovative ways to connect companies that have goods with charities who need them. The Good360 model creates 360 degrees of good ? good for companies, good for charities, good for people and good for the environment. That circle of good includes nearly 30,000 pre-qualified recipient nonprofit organizations around the world.

    Just one example of how we help companies is our program with Walmart, which began in January 2011. Good360 began distributing products from the company?s return centers to qualified nonprofits in both local communities and across the country. Since that time, we have helped to ensure that excess inventory from Walmart and its vendors?slow-moving goods, returns, obsolete models or otherwise?is donated to help the neighborhoods where it does business. In 2011 alone we helped Walmart:

    - Deliver 327 truckloads of products from one return center to nonprofit organizations around the country;
    - Divert more than 2.4 million pounds of returned products from the landfill to community-based nonprofits; and
    - Distribute needed products valued at almost $25 million to help communities across the country.

    These donated products are being used to help victims of disaster get set up in a new home, support programs to empower Native Americans living below the poverty line, provide the basics for low-income seniors, people with disabilities and people in need, and much, much more.

    Good360?s? vision is a world where product donation is practiced by all companies, ensuring that excess and slow-moving merchandise is used to improve our communities and to help people in need get a new start on life. In fact, research just released by Indiana University proved the business case for product donation over both liquidation and disposal.

    Donating product helps companies achieve their zero waste initiatives and, at the same time, make an important impact in the communities where they do business.