Wal-Mart Evaluates Suppliers On Sustainable Packaging

Almost 2,500 vendors are using scorecard.

At the second annual Sustainable Packaging Exposition, held March 12, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. released the initial results of its Packaging Scorecard.

In the first month, 2,268 vendors have logged on to the site and 117 products have been entered into the system. The scorecard was officially unveiled at the Clinton Global Initiative in September 2006, and launched on February 1, 2007.

The scorecard evaluates the sustainability of product packaging based on:

  • greenhouse gas emissions related to production, material value
  • product to packaging ratio
  • cube utilization
  • recycled content usage, innovation
  • the amount of renewable energy used to manufacture the packaging
  • the recovery value of the raw materials and emissions related to transportation of the packaging materials

This year, the scorecard is being used to collect initial data from product suppliers. In 2008, Wal-Mart buyers will be able to use the scorecard results to influence their purchasing decisions.

At the Exposition, 130 packaging suppliers demonstrated alternatives to traditional packaging. Packaging suppliers were chosen to exhibit based on their abilities to make packaging out of renewable resources such as corn or potatoes, reduce or replace expanded polystyrene, increase recycled content in materials and replace clamshells composed of non-recoverable materials.

"It's important to us that our vendors and suppliers integrate sustainable practices into their business plans and products. It's important to show that being an efficient and profitable business goes hand-in-hand with being a good steward of the environment," said Matt Kistler, captain of Wal-Mart's Packaging Sustainability Network.


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