As we examine the life cycle of products through the lens of the Sustainability Index, we begin to understand that the many possible characteristics and opportunities for improvements in the products we sell are interdependent. Many times, a decision made during a product’s design stage has sustainability implications later in the development, use or disposal of a product. By the time a product reaches our shelves, it’s often too late to positively impact the product’s life cycle characteristics in a meaningful way. While the primary responsibility rests with our suppliers to design and manufacture sustainable and compliant products, we work to engage our stakeholders on the front end. Engaging early increases our opportunity to support and encourage our stakeholders to consider everything, from product safety and sustainable chemistry to recyclable content and packaging.
From recycled content to packaging optimization, our attention to the materials that go into the products we sell helps deliver value to our customers, from both an economic and environmental perspective. By stepping back to rethink what — in many cases — has always been, we hope to create a more circular economy. In the U.S. alone, cities spend billions of dollars annually throwing away materials that are worth billions more. Every ton of trash recycled rather than landfilled not only raises the availability of materials we need, but saves money, creates local jobs and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Our customers expect the products they buy to be safe, affordable and sustainable, and we’re working to deliver on those expectations by:
- Optimizing packaging
- Raising availability of recyclable materials
- Promoting sustainable chemistry