Wal-Mart Releases Initial Results of Packaging Scorecard

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Yesterday at the second annual Sustainable Packaging Exposition, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. released the initial results of its Packaging Scorecard. The scorecard, which was officially unveiled at the Clinton Global Initiative in September 2006 and launched on Feb, 1, 2007, evaluates Wal-Mart and Sam's Club suppliers on the sustainability of their packaging and offers suggestions for improvement.

Wal-Mart said 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 5 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, s.v.p. of marketing, research, and insights for Sam's Club and captain of Wal-Mart's Packaging Sustainability Network, in a statement. "We are in a unique position to drive positive change in the area of sustainability by working with our 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 have logged on to the site, and 117 products have been entered into the system, Wal-Mart noted, adding that it expects these numbers to dramatically increase in the coming year.

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. Suppliers receive a score per package relative to their peers in each category.

"We have already used the scorecard to evaluate two types of packaging," said Josh Hannay, business development manager from Ruiz Food Products, which supplies Wal-Mart with El Monterey brand frozen Mexican food products. "The scorecard was easy to use and gave us a single number that translates into how we're doing and how we can do better. Our company is looking forward to reducing waste while saving money."

In 2007 the scorecard is 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.
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