Recently the world’s biggest retail footprint launched the Wal-Mart Sustainability Index, their new scorecard for vendors. It’s a 15-question checklist designed to provide Wally World with the information it needs to give it’s customers the straight goods on the ‘green-ness’ of the products they consume. According to sources, this list will be provided to all suppliers of Wal-Mart products. Which could provide some genuine humour in some cases. And, interestingly enough, Wal-Mart itself will only be able to answer some of the questions in this survey when they get the answers back from their suppliers.
But all Wal-Bashing aside, this move will send ripples through boardrooms throughout the continent, as CEOs rush to define terms like ‘ethical production‘. A chain-reaction effect will likely then take place as copies of the questionnaire are forwarded to sub-suppliers on down the chain. This can only help the overall awareness of the movement toward sustainability, and will hopefully lead to greater transparency throughout the retail environment. Not to mention providing the marketing department with new green stories to tell. (Note to Wal-Mart suppliers: keep your marketing departments in this loop!)
Below are the 15 questions from the Index. How would your company rate? I know I’ve got some homework to do.
WAL-MART Sustainability Index
Energy and Climate / Reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions
1. Have you measured your corporate greenhouse gas emissions? (Y/N)
2. Have you opted to report your greenhouse gas emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)? (Y/N)
3. What are your total greenhouse gas emissions reported in your most recently completed report? (Enter total metric tons CO2e, e.g. CDP6 Questionnaire, Section 2b – Scope 1 and 2 emissions)
4. Have you set publicly available greenhouse gas reduction targets? If yes, what are those targets? (Enter total metric tons and target date; 2 fields or leave blank)
Material Efficiency / Reduce waste and enhance quality
Scores will be automatically calculated based on your participation in the Packaging Scorecard in addition to the following:
5. If measured, please report total amount of solid waste generated from the facilities that produce your product(s) for Wal-Mart Inc for the most recent year measured. (Enter total lbs)
6. Have you set publicly available solid waste reduction targets? If yes, what are those targets? (Enter total lbs and target date; 2 fields or leave blank)
7. If measured, please report total water use from the facilities that produce your product(s) for Wal-Mart Inc for the most recent year measured. (Enter total gallons)
8. Have you set publically available water use reduction targets? If yes, what are those targets? (Enter total gallons and target date; 2 fields or leave blank)
Natural Resources / High quality, responsibly sourced raw materials
9. Have you established publicly available sustainability purchasing guidelines for your direct suppliers that address issues such as environmental compliance, employment practices, and product/ingredient safety? (Y/N)
10. Have you obtained 3rd party certifications for any of the products that you sell to Walmart? If so, from the list of certifications below, please select those for which any of your products are, or utilize materials that are, currently certified.
People and Community / Responsible & ethical production
11. Do you know the location of 100% of the facilities that produce your product(s)? (Y/N)
12. Before beginning a business relationship with a manufacturing facility, do you evaluate their quality of production and capacity for production? (Y/N)
13. Do you have a process for managing social compliance at the manufacturing level? (Y/N)
14. Do you work with your supply base to resolve issues found during social compliance evaluations and also document specific corrections and improvements? (Y/N)
15. Do you invest in community development activities in the markets you source from and/or operate within? (Y/N)
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