At its recent Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting, Walmart highlighted its progress with the Sustainability Index, a measurement system used to track the environmental impact of products. The company also outlined key initiatives where it can use its size and scale to help address “hot spots” and accelerate progress in supply chain sustainability.
“We’ve reached an acceleration point where we are moving from measurement to results. We’re starting to really drive progress with the Index,” Walmart president and CEO Mike Duke said. “This is about trust and value. Using less energy, greener chemicals, fewer fertilizers and more recycled materials – all of this – is the right thing to do for the planet and it’s right for our customers and our business.”
As of today, the Index has been rolled out across 200 product categories, and to more than 1,000 suppliers. By the end of this year, we expect the Index will expand to include more than 300 product categories and as many as 5,000 suppliers.
Since the Index rolled out broadly to Walmart product categories in August 2012, it has shown a consistent trend of improved product sustainability. For example, Walmart’s general merchandise department has improved its Index product sustainability score by an average of 20 percent; grocery department by an average of 12 percent; and consumables and health and wellness by an average of 6 percent.
As part of the progress update, executives, merchants and suppliers shared progress on five major initiatives underway.In addition, starting in Jan. 2014, Walmart will begin to label its private brand cleaning products in accordance with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended Design for the Environment (DfE) Safer Product Labeling program, and will continue to assess the applicability of DfE as Walmart expands it to broader product areas.