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Wal-Mart Packaging Scorecard Goes Live

Posted: February 1, 2008
On February 2, 2008, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. officially begin 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. Wal-Mart buyers will be able to use 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% packaging reduction by 2013.

"The packaging scorecard helps everyone make better decisions that are good for business, our customers and the environment," said Matt Kistler, senior vice president of sustainability, Wal-Mart. "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 ongoing basis."

As of January 30, 2008, more than 97,000 products have been entered into the scorecard by 6,371 distinct vendors. Last year, suppliers were given the opportunity to input and track data, learn about the scorecard and work with buyers to start thinking about sustainable packaging solutions. The scorecard evaluates the sustainability of product packaging based on several key metrics, including 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. Suppliers receive a score in each category and can view how they rate overall compared to their competitors in each product category.

Throughout 2008, Wal-Mart will continue to work with its Packaging Sustainable Value Network comprised of suppliers, government agencies, academics, trade associations and non-governmental organizations to verify the methodology behind the calculations in the scorecard. While the questions asked of the product suppliers in the scorecard will remain the same, the calculations made behind the scenes in the scorecard could 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 Amy Zettlemoyer-Lazar, director of packaging, Sam's Club. "We are in a unique position to drive positive change in the area of packaging by working with our suppliers."