Gist: When Wal-Mart speaks, retailers listen.
So Wal-Mart’s announcement that it will begin marking all of its products with a “sustainability” index, won’t just affect Wal-Mart—the move will reverberate throughout U.S. stores. Not only will other retailers probably follow the big guys’ lead, but the companies that sell to Wal-Mart will be forced to step up their green game, knowing that the biggest buyer of their goods is now keeping environmental tabs. Insiders, borrowing a phrase from the President, are calling the plan “audacious.” From the Big Money:
The giant retailer ($406 billion in revenues in 2008) is developing an ambitious, comprehensive, and fiendishly complex plan to measure the sustainability of every product it sells. Wal-Mart has been working quietly on what it calls a “sustainability index” for more than a year, and it will take another year or two for labels to appear on products. But the company’s grand plan-”audacious beyond words” is how one insider describes it-has the potential to transform retailing by requiring manufacturers of consumer products to dig deep into their supply chains, measure their environmental impact, and compete on those terms for favorable treatment from the world’s most powerful retailer.
Wal-Mart isn’t exactly known for its progressive policies, but with this move, they might take a big step toward changing their image while changing the world.
Photo by thegreenpages
The Stimulist is journalist Carlos Watson’s original take on the daily news: a tasty mix of rising stars, provocative ideas, and inspiring stories. Enjoy responsively: