BENTONVILLE, Ark.-Walmart has launched a series of initiatives geared toward making its supply chain in the United States and China more sustainable.
At an event in Beijing that included government officials, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academics, suppliers and company associates, Walmart said it will use the Sustainability Index to design more sustainable products, make its supply chain more environmentally and socially accountable and responsible, and urge merchants to make sustainability a larger part of their day-to-day operations. The Sustainability Index was developed for Walmart by The Sustainability Consortium, and includes measures of product sustainability using metrics developed by the organization, which Walmart employs on more than 100 product categories.
Among the initiatives announced at the event:
By the end of 2017, Walmart will buy 70 percent of the goods it sells in U.S. stores and U.S. Sam’s Clubs only from suppliers in the United States, China and throughout the world that use the Sustainability Index to evaluate the sustainability of their products.
Beginning in 2013, Walmart will use the Sustainability Index to influence the design of U.S. private-brand products.
Also beginning in 2013, buyers from Walmart’s global sourcing merchants will join its key buyers for Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club in using specific sustainability objectives in their annual evaluations of vendors.
The Walmart Foundation will grant $2 million to fund The Sustainability Consortium and assist in its efforts in launching the organization in China.
Mike Duke, Walmart’s president and CEO, said, “The impact of these commitments will be global and will make a difference with products sold around the globe.”
Gary Locke, U.S. ambassador to China, said, “Walmart and the Chinese government, along with local NGOs and suppliers, have worked together and independently to find new solutions and models for sustainable growth. Today’s announcement will help accelerate the good work under way to make affordable and sustainable consumer goods more accessible here in China and around the world.”