Green leaders get a special place on Walmart.com
Earlier this week, Walmart announced the debut of its Sustainability Leaders shop, a portal on Walmart.com developed to help shoppers find products that are produced in environmentally and socially responsible ways.
The shop comes out of Walmart’s Sustainability Index, which was launched in 2009 with The Sustainability Consortium (TSC), a third-party organization of scientists and organizations focused on creating tools that will lead to more sustainable products being made for the consumer marketplace.
"The Sustainability Leaders shop on Walmart.com is the first step in helping our customers identify which brands and suppliers are leading the way in sustainability," said Neil Ashe, president and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce, in a statement. "Our customers can trust us to work with suppliers who have an ongoing commitment to both sustainability and affordability."
In all, there are 3,000 products made by 150 companies in Walmart’s Sustainability Leaders shop. Each item is tagged with a badge that reads, "Made by a Sustainability Leader."
Robert Kaplan, director of product sustainability at Walmart, told GreenBiz, that the company looked at its new program as a "tool to inspire a race to the top," adding, "This is about continuous improvement."
While Walmart is publicizing its efforts to contribute to a more sustainable future, the company continues to be criticized for its failure to move more quickly. As reported on The City Wire, Walmart has been accused of greenwashing. The Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR) has criticized Walmart for its reliance on coal-fired electricity.
The group cited IKEA and Kohl’s as companies moving aggressively to renewable energy sources. IKEA, for example, has solar panels on the rooftops of 90 percent of its stores in the U.S., including those in states, according to ILSR, where Walmart is reliant on coal for its power.
"Despite making a public commitment to sustainability nine years ago, Walmart still favors dirty coal-generated electricity over solar and wind, because the company insists on using the cheapest power it can find," Stacy Mitchell, a senior researcher at ILSR, told The City Wire.
- Sustainability Leaders – Walmart.com
- Walmart Expands Online Sustainable Shopping Offering – Walmart Stores
- How Walmart’s green label aims to drive supplier ‘race to the top’ – GreenBiz
- Wal-Mart eyes ‘phase three’ of its sustainability plan, critics want more – The City Wire
- Can Walmart Get Us to Buy Sustainable Products? – Harvard Business Review
Will the launch of the Sustainability Leaders shop help to improve Walmart’s image with consumers interested in environmental and social responsibility issues? Do you see Walmart as a sustainability leader or laggard?