Posting in Energy
How likely would you be to buy that new piece of clothing or gadget if you knew EXACTLY how it affected the planet? Walmart is moving to provide unpre...
How likely would you be to buy that new piece of clothing or gadget if you knew EXACTLY how it affected the planet? Walmart is moving to provide unprecedented visibility into just that with its new worldwide product sustainable product index.
The index seeks to provide a single standard measure for environmental info, kind of like what you would find from the Food and Drug Administration on items at the grocery store. The initiative was announced by Walmart President and CEO Mike Duke at a meeting with 1,500 of Walmart's suppliers. Duke said in a press release that the retailer doesn't want to own the index or even be responsible for creating it. Rather, it will start collecting information that can be used by a consortium of universities to do the dirty work. Given its profile, this will definitely help the entire retail industry gain more visibility into this sort of information. That is, if the information is available. My guess is that other retailers might need to pay for the data and given Walmart credit for the data-gathering.
What happens next? First, Walmart is kicking off a survey among its 100,000 suppliers, focusing on gathering the following information related to their products: energy and climate considerations, material efficiency, natural resources, and how the item in question affects the people and community from whence it comes. The company is looking for top-tier U.S. suppliers to complete that survey by Oct. 1.
Next comes the fun part: Walmart is trying to pull together what it is calling the Sustainability Index Consortium, lead by universities to work with suppliers, NGOs, retailers and government agencies to pull together a database of lifecycle credentials. Eventually, Walmart will partner with a technology company (or two) to power the platform that will serve up this information in a consumer-friendlly format. Ratings would be figured out from there.
All in all, this is one heck of an ambitious project, one that will doubtless take months to pull off. But it would (again) establish Walmart as a differentiator in the retail world. Now, the interesting part will be how other retailers, or the suppliers themselves, will be able to use this information.
This Harvard Business Review essay about the new Walmart program is great supplemental reading, especially for any retailer that has been ignoring the environmental credentials of the materials that go into the products on its shelves (wooden or cyber).
Walmart may not be able to pull this off quickly, but this is a game-changer.
Jul 17, 2009
Where does Idaho rank? We have been living in Montana for the past 5 years and I am not suprisexshop onlineto find it #3 on the "worst" list. Considering aproduto eroticomove to Idaho to escapthe high cost of living a low income in MT. There may not be a sales tax here but they get you if you own property!
We have been living in Montana for the past 5 years and I am not suprisexshopto find it #3 on the "worst" list. Considering asexy shopmove to Idaho to escapthe high cost of living a low income in MT. There may not be a sales tax here but they get you if you own property!
WalMart says it could be five years before it is fully implemented. Just imagine the complexity of evaluating, say, a microwave and you can see why. Still, it is hugely important. The big problem is that it is just one retailer, no matter how big. Will WalMart be willing to share ratings with their competitors? Will they allow vendors to tout their ratings in non WalMart specific ads? Full disclosure: I am a WalMart associate (not a member of management). In the nine years I have worked for them I have seen a sea change from a company focused solely on sales and profits to one where, oh, God, yes sales and profits are paramount but there is a huge push to promote sustainability and it is not just a marketing ploy.