GLOBE-Net, October 25, 2012 - In what
could emerge as one of the most powerful forces for change in the
global retail sector, Walmart has announced a
series of initiatives to make the company's supply chain
in the United States, China and around the world more
At an event in Beijing with government officials,
nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), academics, suppliers and
company associates present, Walmart said the company will use its
Sustainability Index to design more sustainable products, make its
global supply chain more socially and environmentally accountable
and responsible, and incentivize merchants to make sustainability a
bigger part of their day-to-day jobs.
"Today I'm proud to announce a series of steps and
commitments that will make Walmart's supply chain, in the United
States, here in China, and around the world, more sustainable,"
said Mike Duke, President and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. "The
impact of these commitments will be global and make a difference
with products sold around the globe."
The commitments outlined include:
- By the end of 2017, Walmart will buy 70 percent of the goods it
sells in U.S. stores and in U.S. Sam's Clubs only from suppliers in
the United States, China and around the world who use the Index to
evaluate and share the sustainability of their products. This
change will involve suppliers who produce goods in categories where
the Index is available.
- Beginning in 2013, Walmart will use the Sustainability Index to
influence the design of its U.S. private brand products.
- Walmart will change the way its key global sourcing merchants
are evaluated so that sustainability becomes an even more important
part of buyers' day-to-day jobs. Beginning in 2013, these
buyers will join key buyers in Walmart U.S. and Sam's Club who
already have specific sustainability objectives on their annual
- The Walmart Foundation will grant $2 million to fund The
Sustainability Consortium (TSC) and assist in its efforts in
launching TSC in China. TSC is an independent research
organization. Using the Walmart Foundation grant, TSC China will
engage industries, universities and other experts to form a global
network of leaders improving sustainability in consumer goods, and
will provide tools and resources to help suppliers become more
sustainable and competitive. Walmart will use the results of TSC's
independent work to refine its Sustainability Index for use in
Integrating the Sustainability Index into Walmart's
Walmart set a goal in 2009 to develop a Sustainability Index to
improve sustainability across the consumer goods
industry. Walmart has rolled out the Sustainability Index,
which measures product sustainability using metrics developed by
TSC, to more than 100 categories.
"We will drive progress faster and scale
our work to make factories more socially and environmentally
sustainable, reduce energy and water usage, and eliminate harmful
emissions into rivers and the air. We will also have deeper
insight into how we can make manufacturing more sustainable for
people and communities in China." Mike Duke, President and CEO,
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Merchandise buyers from Walmart U.S., Sam's Club, Walmart.com
and Walmart Canada are now using the Sustainability Index in
regular buying decisions.
More than 500 suppliers have participated in the Sustainability
Index, representing an average of 70 percent of sales within the
categories Walmart is currently evaluating with the Sustainability
Index. Walmart expects to expand the use of the Index to an
additional 100 product categories by the end of 2012.
How the Index Works
For example, Walmart's computer buyer used the
Sustainability Index and The Sustainability Consortium's (TSC)
research tools to identify opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions and save energy from laptops.
Only 30 percent of laptops sold at Walmart were using
"advanced power management" - a feature that switches the computer
to a lower power state when it's idle or used at a reduced energy
capacity. The industry had a standard for activating "sleep"
mode when a computer's system is in 30 minutes of
Walmart's computer buyer asked suppliers, when possible,
to shorten the time to 10 minutes of inactivity. Walmart now has a
goal for 100 percent of the computers it sells this holiday season
to have advanced power management as the default setting. This
change will eliminate more than 200,000 tons of greenhouse gas
emissions and save customers money on electricity bills.
(See GLOBE-net article "How Walmart's Green Performance Reviews Could
Change Retail for Good")
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