Wal-Mart moving towards sustainability – and dragging us along

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This week, Wal-Mart had a “sustainability meeting” and announced new questionnaires to assess the environmental footprint of their suppliers. The data will eventually be converted into green labels for products that will indicate the environmental impact. Other retailers are likely to follow, in fact Wal-Mart has invited Costco, Target and Tesco to join on this initiative. Wal-Mart, once the pariah of social and environmental activists is now leading the charge.

Here is a good New York Times overview of the meeting.

Here are a couple of the questions suppliers will be encouraged to answer.

5. If measured, please report total amount of solid waste generated from the facilities that produce your product(s) for Wal-Mart Inc for the most recent year measured. (Enter total lbs)
6. Have you set publicly available solid waste reduction targets? If yes, what are those targets?(Enter total lbs and target date; 2 fields or leave blank)

The whole questionnaire is here.

On a similar note, there is an exellent podcast on the way Wal-Mart works here.