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Wal-Mart puts packaging scorecard into practice

As of February 1, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has started rating suppliers using its packaging scorecard on their progres...


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February 11, 2008 by Canadian Plastics

As of February 1, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has started rating suppliers using its packaging scorecard on their progress towards developing sustainable packaging. The scorecard was put through a trial phase last year, and is the next step in moving towards the company’s goal to reduce packaging by five per cent by 2013.

“It’s important to us that our suppliers see the intrinsic value behind sustainability, both for their business and the environment,” said Matt Kistler, Wal-Mart’s senior vice president of sustainability. “We’ve made significant progress throughout the first year of the scorecard and it is a key responsibility of our suppliers to input new products and update packaging changes on an ongoing basis.”

So far, the company noted, more than 97,000 products have been entered into the scorecard by 6,371 distinct vendors. The scorecard evaluates the sustainability of product packaging based on several metrics: greenhouse gas emissions, product-to-package ratio, space utilization, innovation, the amount of renewable energy used in packaging production and emissions related to the distance packaging materials are transported.

The company also noted that it will continue to work with stakeholders to verify the methodology behind its calculations, and the calculations in the scorecard may still be refined.

“When we launched the scorecard for supplier input in 2007, we knew that we were going to work on the metrics behind the scenes, and we will continue to work with the members of our Packaging Sustainable Value Network to refine those metrics,” said Sam’s Club director of packaging Amy Zettlemoyer-Lazar. “We are in a unique position to drive positive change in the area of packaging by working with our suppliers.”