How Green is that Laptop? Ask Walmart.
Walmart knows its own power. Following the release of a packaging sustainability scorecard last year, Walmart has followed up with a call to the consumer electronics industry – go green and prove it. In partnership with The Green Electronics Council’s EPEAT program (which we’ve mentioned before), Walmart will co-develop a standards scorecard that will evaluate products for energy efficiency, durability, upgradability, end-of-life, packaging, and use of innovative (less toxic) materials. Big business saves the world?
Some of Walmart’s suppliers are already integrating the metrics into their products. Currently, many of the computers and televisions sold at Wal-Mart are compliant with the Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) standards, including the popular Toshiba Satellite A55 laptop. To encourage suppliers to start implementing the scorecard metrics into their products now, Wal-Mart is co-sponsoring an innovative design contest with the Green Electronics Council. Suppliers are encouraged to submit a consumer electronics product that puts the scorecard metrics into practice. The winner’s product will be carried in Wal-Mart stores throughout the nation.
As suppliers are encouraged to become more sustainable, Wal-Mart is continuing with its own sustainability initiatives in its Electronics Network. In February, Wal-Mart co-hosted a series of electronic waste (e-waste) “Take Back” days. Together with Hewlett-Packard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Wal-Mart collected more than 140,000 pounds of old electronics for recycling from residents in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. In addition to the Take Back days, Wal-Mart offers year- round in-store recycling of cell phones and ink cartridges and encourages customers to buy energy efficient products.