Sustainability Index

The Secret Life

How much do you know about what's behind a product's label? Walmart is examining the life cycle of products to find ways to conserve natural resources. 

By looking at the supply chain as a whole, we can find ways to makes products more sustainable -- from farm to shelf. This is only one of many stories.  

Developing a sustainable standard for products

Since 2009, we, along with some of our largest competitors, have worked alongside The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) to develop measurement and reporting systems for product sustainability.  Intended to establish a global retail standard for the 21st century, this tool will help us:

  • improve the sustainability of the products our customers love
  • integrate sustainability into our core business
  • reduce cost, improve product quality and create a more efficient supply chain
  • strengthen customer trust in Walmart and the brands we carry by leading our industry in product transparency

TSC is delivering research, metrics and reporting systems that help us engage our suppliers and better understand the products we sell. With the support of leading retailers, government agencies and universities around the world, TSC is establishing the “common language” necessary to evaluate product and supplier sustainability performance and drive innovation.

Business integration

Walmart is integrating TSC’s work into our merchandising business.  In 2011, we used The Consortium’s metrics to develop an Index for six product categories. We used those results to create category scorecards, which allow our buyers to evaluate supplier performance against the biggest challenges across the life cycle of their products. Then we gave suppliers actionable recommendations for how they could improve. We’ll expand those six pilots to develop scorecards in up to 100 categories by the end of 2012 and will integrate them into our core merchandising processes.

Consumer engagement

We believe the work of TSC will one day allow us to provide our customers industry-leading transparency into the products we sell. It will provide them with information about products in a simple, easy-to-understand manner, helping them save money and live better.