Friday, July 17, 2009

Green Ratings

Yesterday, Wal-Mart unveiled their new environmental labeling program requiring suppliers to calculate and disclose the full environmental cost of their products. The ratings will be displayed alongside prices. Hopefully these green ratings will become another point for shoppers to consider while comparing items, forcing suppliers to reassess their production. The New York Times reports:

The idea is to create a universal rating system that scores products based on how environmentally and socially sustainable they are over the course of their lives. Consider it the green equivalent to nutrition labels.

Rather than a retailer or a product supplier’s focusing on only a few sustainability goals — lower emissions or water conservation or waste reduction — the index would help them take a broader view of sustainability by scrutinizing and rating all sorts of environmental and social implications.

Did this T-shirt come from a cotton crop that was sprayed with pesticide? Was excessive packaging used to ship these diapers?

Wal-Mart’s goal is to have other retailers eventually adopt the indexing system, which will be created over the next five years.

I suppose I owe Wal-Mart a "tip o' the hat," huh? Is there such a thing as "sustainable consumption" with a retailer of this magnitude?

Click here for Wal-Mart's press release or here for the web cast from their Sustainability Milestone Meeting.

1 comment:

Niko said...

Wow, I would have never thought that WalMart of all places would go to those lenghts to become a more sustainable company. That just goes to show where this countries priorities are and thats a safer greener place...JS