Walmart U.S. is moving forward with a Sustainability Index to track the environmental impact of products, while planning to reduce or eliminate at least 10 chemicals from its store products.
The world’s largest retailer, however, has yet to release which chemicals it has targeted.
Its Index focuses on chemical disclosure, risk assessment and hazard avoidance. It has been rolled out across 200 product categories, and to more than 1,000 suppliers. By the end of 2013, the company predicts the Index will expand to more than 300 product categories and as many as 5,000 suppliers.
“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 in a September 12, 2013 statement to media. “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,” added Duke.
The retail giant also announced that it will be offering products with greener chemicals, working with suppliers to reduce or eliminate the use of priority chemicals used in consumables products in favor of greener alternatives. It will begin with household cleaning, personal care, beauty and cosmetic products, asking suppliers to transition to greener substitutes for priority chemicals.
In addition, starting in Jan. 2014, Walmart will begin to label its private brand cleaning products in accordance with the U.S. 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.
Walmart U.S. says it also plans to increase recycling, reduce fertilizer use and improve the chain’s energy efficiency.
No word yet on whether Walmart intends to expand any of its new green programs into Canada.
- Walmart will work with suppliers on continuous performance improvement on The Sustainability Index to address chemical disclosure, risk assessment and hazard avoidance.
- Beginning in January 2015, Walmart will require suppliers to provide online public ingredient disclosure for items sold at Walmart.
- Walmart has prioritized a list of approximately ten chemical ingredients, as its initial list of high priority chemicals, for continuous reduction, restriction, and elimination, using informed substitution principles, and will regularly review if additional chemicals should be prioritized.
- Priority Chemicals will be shared with suppliers.
- Walmart will begin to label private brand cleaning products in accordance with the U.S. EPA’s Design for the Environment Safer Product Labeling program, to the extent possible, and will continue to assess the applicability of DfE as it expands to broader product areas.