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Wal Mart puts Packaging Scorecard into practice

In the USA, Wal-Mart has officially begun using its packaging scorecard to rate suppliers on their progress toward developing sustainable packaging, as well as their ability to help Wal-Mart reach its company-wide sustainability goals to reduce waste, use renewable energy and sell sustainable products.

The supermarket giant’s buyers are now using the scorecard as a tool when making purchasing decisions. First unveiled at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2006, and put through a trial phase for the past year, the scorecard is Wal-Mart’s next step in moving toward its goal to achieve a 5 per cent packaging reduction by 2013.

Matt Kistler, senior vice president of sustainability, comments: “It’s important to us that our suppliers see the intrinsic value behind sustainability, both for their business and the environment. 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 on-going basis.”

As of January 30, 2008, more than 97,000 products had been entered into the scorecard by 6,371 distinct vendors. It evaluates the sustainability of product packaging based on several key metrics, including greenhouse gas emissions, product-to-package ratio, space utilisation, innovation, the amount of renewable energy used in packaging production and emissions related to the distance packaging materials are transported. Suppliers receive a score in each category and can view how they rate overall compared to their competitors in each product category.

“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,” says Amy Zettlemoyer-Lazar, director of packaging at Sam’s Club. “We are in a unique position to drive positive change in the area of packaging by working with our suppliers.”

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