Walmart Targets Chemicals at its Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – At its Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting recently, Walmart (NYSE: WMT) announced a new chemical policy that supports greater transparency on chemical use in various products and promotes efforts to find safer alternatives. At the meeting, the company also spelled out new goals centered on sustainable beef and crop fertilizers as well as reporting detailed progress around its Sustainability Index.
Walmart has specified that it is targeting about 10 chemicals in particular, and will engage with product vendors to improve transparency on these chemicals and their potential risks on packaging and online. At the same time, the company will join hands with private label suppliers and other partners to work on reformulating personal care products, cleaners and other items in order to meet the EPA’s standards. The larger goal will be to cut down the usage of harmful chemicals in products and replace them benign alternatives.
Chemicals are one of the aspects in its product lines that Walmart has been evaluating through its Sustainability Index, a scorecard that Walmart buyers refer to when assessing products. Since the launch of this index, more than a thousand vendors covering 300 product categories have subscribed to it. The company estimates this will grow to 5,000 suppliers by the end of the year.
A number of food products are included in the index. The food scores have already improved 12 percent since the launch of the Index, with coffee scores raising the most, by 32 percent. One of the ways Walmart and its vendors are working to reduce the impact of the food chain is through fertilizer. Several initiatives to develop and spread best practices on fertilizer use have been made already. Through these initiatives, Walmart estimates that its vendors will be able to reduce their fertilizer usage by about 30 percent, on 14 million acres of farmland, by 2020. The initiatives will also lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 17 million metric tons.
The company is also pressing forward with its plans to have all products that include plastic packaging to be rated by the Sustainability Index. Through this effort, it expects to increase recycled content in packaging by three billion pounds over the next seven years.
Source: Business Green
Image Credit: Flickr via Walmart Corporate