Walmart has announced a series of initiatives to make its global supply chain more sustainable, including a $2 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to help launch the Sustainability Consortium in China.
TSC China, an independent research organization, will use the funds to engage industries, universities, and experts in the formation of a global network of leaders that works to improve sustainability in consumer goods and provides tools and resources to help suppliers become more sustainable and competitive. The results of TSC's research will be used to refine Walmart's Sustainability Index, which measures product sustainability using metrics developed by TSC, for use in China. "The $2 million grant from the Walmart Foundation will support the consortium and position us to help bring the best science and research to support the development of the green supply chain here in China and globally," said TSC chief executive Kara Hurst.
In addition, starting in 2013, Walmart will use the Sustainability Index to influence the design of its U.S. private brand products and encourage its key global sourcing merchants to make sustainability a bigger part of their focus. By 2017 the company plans to buy 70 percent of the goods it sells in U.S. Walmart and Sam's Club stores from suppliers that use the index to evaluate and communicate the sustainability of their products.
"We will drive progress faster and scale our work to make factories more socially and environmentally sustainable, reduce energy and water usage, and eliminate harmful emissions into rivers and the air," said Walmart CEO Mike Duke. "We will also have deeper insight into how we can make manufacturing more sustainable for people and communities in China."