Friday, 17 July 2009

Walmart Sustainability Index

(via Huffington Post - announced yesterday)

The giant retailer ($406 billion in revenues in 2008) is developing an ambitious, comprehensive, and fiendishly complex plan to measure the sustainability of every product it sells. Wal-Mart has been working quietly on what it calls a "sustainability index" for more than a year, and it will take another year or two for labels to appear on products. But the company's grand plan-"audacious beyond words" is how one insider describes it-has the potential to transform retailing by requiring manufacturers of consumer products to dig deep into their supply chains, measure their environmental impact, and compete on those terms for favorable treatment from the world's most powerful retailer.


Dan Harvey said...

This is a really important step forward, even though it won't apply to individual products yet and there are some reservations about the depth of the 15 questions they're asking the companies. However, they seem to be making clear that it's a work in progress.

What's encouraging is that, according to the CEO, they don't ultimately want to own the sustainability index themselves - they're looking to create a Sustainability Index Consortium, run by universities collaborating with suppliers, retailers, NGOs and government.

An independent universally accepted measure of sustainability would be really exciting.

Anonymous said...

Support FREE exchange of carbon offsets! Say no to cap and trade!