The Walmart Sustainability Index

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Today’s consumers are becoming more aware of their carbon footprints, seeking out alternative, greener ways of living. Achieving a sustainable future requires fully understanding the environmental impact of everyday products. The Walmart Sustainability Index works toward developing products and packaging that perform efficiently throughout their entire life cycle. The Index was introduced in 2009 to help suppliers, retailers and consumers understand the impacts, benefits and flaws of the materials and processes that go into their products. This information helps develop innovative solutions and improve the packaging process. Here, we’ll explore the three phases of the Walmart Sustainability Index.

  1. Supplier Sustainability Assessment: Walmart has more than 100,000 global suppliers, each given a survey that allows them to evaluate their own company’s sustainability regarding energy, materials, natural resources and community. By examining the source of products and packaging processes, suppliers can make improvements throughout products’ entire life cycle, increasing performance and allowing for a more sustainable method of disposable.
  2. Lifecycle Analysis Database: In order to learn more about and understand the entire life cycle of products – from raw materials and production to the disposal phase – Walmart is helping create a consortium of universities that will research and develop a global database of life cycle information. Working together with suppliers and retailers, the database will give companies a better grasp on how their products and packages perform from cradle to grave.
  3. Education: The Walmart Sustainability Index will provide customers with the information they need to make sustainable choices every day. Too many consumers are confused by mislabels of “green” and “eco-friendly,” without truly understanding the impacts of the products they purchases and the choices they make. Effective education is the most powerful tool for creating a sustainable future.


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