Walmart Sustainability Index

What you measure gets managed. That is what Wal-Mart is doing with their plan. Check out the 15 questions (PDF) it is asking suppliers.

As the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores is on a mission to determine the social and environmental impact of every item it puts on its shelves. And it has recruited scholars, suppliers, and environmental groups to help it create an electronic indexing system to do that.

The idea is to create a universal rating system that scores products based on how environmentally and socially sustainable they are over the course of their lives. Consider it the green equivalent to nutrition labels.

Rather than a retailer or a product supplier’s focusing on only a few sustainability goals — lower emissions or water conservation or waste reduction — the index would help them take a broader view of sustainability by scrutinizing and rating all sorts of environmental and social implications.

Did this T-shirt come from a cotton crop that was sprayed with pesticide? Was excessive packaging used to ship these diapers?

Wal-Mart’s goal is to have other retailers eventually adopt the indexing system, which will be created over the next five years.

via At Wal-Mart, Labels to Reflect Green Intent – NYTimes.com.

More here:

GreenBiz.com stories – 1, 2
Sustainability Consortium

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One thought on “Walmart Sustainability Index

  1. The impact of this sustainability index will have a global impact as one in five of China’s factories are thought to be in the supply chain of the goods Walmart sells. This could be the start of a true green revolution where finally big manufacturers and consumers take responsibility for their environmental impacts.

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