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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Green Manufacturing > Product Development > Manufacturing Packaging & Packing Solutions for Savings

Wal-Mart's Packaging Scorecard At One Year

Wal-Mart's Packaging Scorecard program results for 2007 builds a foundation of supplies and processes

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At the 2007, second annual Sustainable Packaging Exposition, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) released the initial results of its Packaging Scorecard.

The Wal-Mart Packaging Scorecard

The scorecard, which was officially unveiled at the Clinton Global Initiative in September 2006 and launched on February 1, 2007, evaluates Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club suppliers on the sustainability of their packaging and offers suggestions for improvement.

Month One Results for the Wal-Mart Packaging Scorecard

The results from the first month of operation show active use of the scorecard and a strong interest from product suppliers to make their packaging more sustainable. The scorecard implementation is Wal-Mart’s next step in moving toward achieving a five percent reduction in packaging by 2013.

"Wal-Mart has made a commitment to reducing waste in packaging in order to sustain our resources and environment and to reduce total system costs," said Matt Kistler, senior vice president of marketing, research, and insights for Sam’s Club and captain of Wal-Mart’s Packaging Sustainability Network.

Wal-Mart is in a unique position to drive change in the area of sustainability by working with their suppliers. "The packaging scorecard helps everyone make better decisions that are good for business, our customers and the environment."

In the first month, 2,268 vendors logged onto the site and 117 products have been entered into the system, and Wal-Mart expects these numbers to dramatically increase in the coming year.

Packaging Scorecard Evaluation

The scorecard evaluates the sustainability of product packaging based on greenhouse gas emissions related to production, material value, product to packaging ratio, cube utilization, recycled content usage, innovation, the amount of renewable energy used to manufacture the packaging, the recovery value of the raw materials and emissions related to transportation of the packaging materials.

These criteria are valuable tools for suppliers to determine how their packaging innovations, environmental standards, energy efficiencies and use of materials compare to their peers. Suppliers will receive a score per package relative to their peers in each category.

Product suppliers and packaging suppliers are attending Wal-Mart’s Sustainability Packaging Exposition to learn about new sustainable packaging materials.

Renewable Materials, Reductions, and Replacements for more Sustainable Packaging

This year, 130 packaging suppliers are showing nearly 3,000 product suppliers alternatives to traditional packaging. Packaging suppliers were chosen to exhibit based on their abilities to make packaging out of renewable resources such as corn or potatoes, reduce or replace expanded polystyrene, increase recycled content in materials and replace clamshells composed of non-recoverable materials.

The packaging suppliers will highlight improvements that have occurred over the last year as a result of the initial Exposition, and will offer suggestions to vendors on how to improve their packaging. Additionally, Wal-Mart will host a booth to demonstrate how to use the packaging scorecard and exhibit a virtual tour of the tradeshow.

The scorecard is first being used to collect initial data from product suppliers. These suppliers will also have an opportunity to meet with Wal-Mart buyers to learn about additional improvement methods. Beginning in 2008, Wal-Mart buyers will be able to use the scorecard results to influence their purchasing decisions.

"It’s important to us that our vendors and suppliers integrate sustainable practices into their business plans and products. It’s important to show that being an efficient and profitable business goes hand-in-hand with being a good steward of the environment," said Kistler.

SOURCE: Wal-Mart



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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