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Will Walmart's drive toward sustainability work?





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Walmart, the world's largest retailer, announced this week that they are planning to put green/sustainability labeling on all of their products within the next five years.
Walmart today announced plans to develop a worldwide sustainable product index during a meeting with 1,500 of its suppliers, associates and sustainability leaders at its home office. The index will establish a single source of data for evaluating the sustainability of products.
The company will ask their suppliers (all their suppliers) to answer fifteen questions and then will apply a rating to the products based on an algorithm yet to be announced. It is unclear is how they will determine the accuracy of the replies -- what oversight, if any, will be instituted and applied. Also yet to be announced will be how that rating will be displayed. It may be as simple as a green tag or as complicated as a link on the product to a customer's smart phone which will then give the customer detailed information about the product's sustainability.

Environmental groups laud this attempt to go green at the corporate level and point out that, as the world's largest retailer, Walmart may be best positioned to pull this off. Corporate associations and academics have raised concern of increased costs. Walmart's spokesman disagrees and says that with less packaging there will be lest cost ...
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