Walmart Raises Sustainability Commitments

Walmart has renewed its commitment to a sustainable global supply chain through a series of initiatives that will make the company's supply chain in the United States and China more sustainable. Walmart said the company will use the Sustainability Index to design more sustainable products, making its global supply chain more socially and environmentally accountable and responsible.
"We will drive progress faster and scale our work to make factories more socially and environmentally sustainable, reduce energy and water usage, and eliminate harmful emissions into rivers and the air," said Mike Duke, CEO of Walmart Stores in a statement. "We will also have deeper insight into how we can make manufacturing more sustainable for people and communities in China."
The additional initiatives will build on the sustainability goals Walmart set at the China Sustainability Summit in 2008. The commitments include:
·         By the end of 2017, Walmart will buy 70% of the goods it sells in U.S. stores and in U.S. Sam's Clubs only from suppliers in the United States, China, and around the world who use the Index to evaluate and share the sustainability of their products. 
·         Beginning in 2013, Walmart will use the Sustainability Index to influence the design of its U.S. private brand products.
·         Beginning in 2013, global sourcing merchants will join key buyers in Walmart U.S. and Sam's Club who already have specific sustainability objectives on their annual evaluations. 
·         The Walmart Foundation will grant $2 million to fund The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) and assist in its efforts in launching TSC in China. 
Since the retailer announced its goals at the 2008 Sustainability Summit nearly 95% of direct-import factories have received one of the two highest audit ratings for environmental and sourcing practices and 195 factories have improved their energy efficiency by 20% as of July 2012, and the top 200 factories are expected to improve their energy efficiency by 20% or more by the end of 2012.
Walmart has rolled out the Sustainability Index, which measures product sustainability using metrics developed by TSC, to more than 100 categories. Merchandise buyers from Walmart U.S., Sam's Club, and Walmart Canada are now using the Sustainability Index in regular buying decisions. More than 500 suppliers have participated in the Sustainability Index, representing an average of 70% of sales within the categories Walmart is currently evaluating with the Sustainability Index, and expects to expand the use of the Index to an additional 100 product categories by the end of 2012.
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