Press Release, Products, Video

Walmart launches sustainable shopping online

I have finally finished my 56-page Tecnon OrbiChem Bio-materials newsletter and the March Chemical Profile was all about polybutylene succinate (PBS). Charles Fryer, who worked on the Chemical Profile, was able to interview PTT MCC last month. I hope subscribers will be happy with the results!

Meanwhile, let’s go back to blogging and there were a lot of information that I was able to gather at the recent NPE Plastics Trade Show in Orlando. I am not sure when I can post some of those as I am preparing for my trip to Lille, France, to attend the Plant Based Summit next week, and then one week vacation (finally!) after that, so hopefully I’ll be able to write one or two before my trips.

For now, here is an interesting news from Walmart as it recently announced the debut of its Sustainability Leaders Shop, an online shopping portal on Walmart.com that help customers identify and purchase products from suppliers that are leading in Sustainability. The new portal helps to advance Walmart’s goal to offer customers a way to choose products they can afford, and that are produced in an environmentally and socially responsible way.

The Sustainability Leaders shop is the customer-facing iteration of Walmart’s Sustainability Index, launched in 2009 in collaboration with the Sustainability Consortium, a third-party organization of academic-based scientists and more than 100 member organizations that create tools and strategies to drive more sustainable consumer products. I remember writing an article about it when Walmart announced the Index, and how this can impact the chemical supply chain.

Walmart said the Sustainability Leaders Shop takes information from the Index and translates it into an easy-to-understand format for Walmart customers. On Walmart.com, more than 10,000 items made by companies identified as leaders in a category (like televisions or plastic toys) through the Walmart Sustainability Index are marked with a Sustainability Leaders badge. This represents nearly 3,000 unique products.

The supplier’s overall score in that category on Walmart’s Sustainability Index determines Walmart Sustainability Leader badgeproducts badged as Sustainability Leaders. Companies may qualify their products for the Sustainability Leaders badge if they rank as best in class among other suppliers in a product category. This means that companies must score as No. 1 in that category, or, in categories where there are many leading suppliers, products made by any supplier that scores over 80% will also qualify.

According to Walmart, badges are based on supplier survey responses, and not specific product attributes. Performance and badge qualification is assessed each year. As the Walmart Sustainability Index improves over time, the qualification requirements for a badge will increase, encouraging further performance improvement. A badge means that the manufacturer of a product is leading their industry in efforts to improve sustainability. Products that are marked with the Sustainability Leaders badge are determined by the supplier’s overall score in that category on Walmart’s Sustainability Index. Supplier badges will be re-evaluated each year.

In another news, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched its Safer Choice Label, which will make it easier to find household cleaners and other home products that are reportedly safer, more environment-friendly and still have the same performance characteristics as traditional products. Major companies such as Clorox, Walmart, Jelmar/CLR, Earth Friendly Products, Biesel, Wegmans and hundreds of others have agreed to start putting Safer Choice products on the shelves this year, according to the EPA. Products will start to carry the label this spring and summer.

Here is a video from the EPA regarding the program.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.

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