By Christine Blank, SeafoodSource contributing editor
Published on 30 October, 2012
At an event in Beijing, China on Friday, Walmart executives announced several initiatives to strengthen the sustainability of its supply chain.
By the end of 2017, Walmart will buy 70 percent of the goods it sells in U.S. stores and in U.S. Sam’s Club stores only from suppliers who use its sustainability index, Mike Duke, president and CEO of Walmart Stores Inc. said at a press conference with government officials, NGOs, suppliers, and others.
“Walmart and the Chinese government, along with local NGOs and suppliers, have worked together and independently to find new solutions and models for sustainable growth,” said Gary Locke, U.S. Ambassador to China, at the event. The Walmart Foundation will grant USD 2 million to The Sustainability Consortium, to assist in its efforts in launching TSC, an independent research organization, in China. “Walmart will use the results of TSC’s independent work to refine its sustainability index for use in China,” according to a Walmart statement.
Starting next year, Walmart will also use its sustainability index, which was launched in 2009, to influence the design of its U.S. private brand products. With the index, Walmart’s suppliers rate themselves on their environmental progress. The index — a type of scorecard — is used by more than 500 of Walmart’s suppliers across 100 different categories.
In addition, Walmart’s international buyers will be evaluated on their sustainability progress, just as the U.S. buyers for Walmart and Sam’s Club stores are. “Walmart will change the way its key global sourcing merchants are evaluated so that sustainability becomes an even more important part of buyers’ day-to-day jobs,” according to a statement from the company.