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Wal-Mart Adopts Sustainability Index

Canada’s Wal-Mart stores will soon adopt the company’s “sustainable product index,” meant to help customers find products made and used in a sustainable way.

Wal-Mart Canada’s major suppliers will be asked to answer a 15-question assessment survey to evaluate their sustainability efforts, the company said in a Feb. 10 release.

The questions are to cover four areas of interest: energy and climate, material efficiency, natural resources, and people and community.

Once the survey phase is complete, the company said it would create a “Sustainability Index Consortium” and the database that will house information on the life cycle of products.

Wal-Mart Canada’s U. S. parent, which has already rolled out such an indexing system for its U. S. retail offerings, will initially fund and help build up the Canadian consortium, which is to include universities, other retailers, suppliers and non-government organizations (NGOs).

The consortium will use a research-driven approach to develop the database, which in turn will drive the product index, the company said. It will consider the full life cycle of products, from their raw materials to the ways in which they can be disposed of or recycled.

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