Gallery: IS IT GREEN?: Wal-Mart’s Sustainability Index

green, eco-label, green label, wal-mart, sustainability, sustainability index, wal-mart sustainability index

Green labels abound for seafood, coffee, fair-trade, organic products and more, but we have yet to come across one unifying label that allows us to compare apples to oranges in terms of sustainability. Now it looks like Wal-Mart, may be changing that with the recent announcement of their ‘Sustainability Index.’ Their grand plan could help consumers choose products not only based on their cost and features, but also based on their environmental impact. But is Wal-Mart really turning over a green leaf – and can the benefits of this new system help outweigh the mega-corporation’s questionable environmental reputation as the world’s largest retailer?

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  1. antkm1 August 12, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    This idea, in theory, sounds good. but what about regulation and keeping everyone honest? This green index may ask some pretty good questions, but how do we KNOW that the questions are being answered fairly and honestly? How are we to know, which out some sort of oversight, that these companies and suppliers are being truthful?

    Also, When i see companies like Cargill, Unilever, Monstanto. It makes me cringe too. If you’ve see the doc film “Food, Inc.” you see that companies like these are partially responsible for all the genetic massaging of our foods and which could possibly make us all sicker in the long run.

    There has to be some over-sight. Corporate green washing may be a harsh accusation, but could be not far from the truth.

  2. setheeee August 12, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    We can’t call it Greenwashing until after we see what they come up with. I agree Wal-mart has caused huge amounts of environmental destruction, via their suppliers over the years, but this may be a step in the right direction. Especially if they are looking at Life Cycle Assessments.

    What I want to see, if they really address the CORE issue, that their sustainable index rates the overseas SUBCONTRACTORS that American based Wal-mart suppliers often use… Wal-mart already requires that these Subcontractors pass a Social and Safety Audit, which are performed by 3rd parties. Why not take it one step further, and include an environmental audit for the subcontractors?

    If an American company that is really is focused on reducing power and in house waste, but the products it sells are made at an overseas factory that has very little pollution management and the products are not recyclable or not built to last, then this Sustainability Index better take that into account.

  3. John Anderson August 11, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    I am impressing by epic scale of this greenwashing. Wal-mart should receive more recognition for their naked hubris.

  4. stefanie August 9, 2009 at 10:38 am

    If you go to the website for this emerging sustainability index, you find that on the “partners” tab, Monsanto, Cargill, and Univlever are all listed. This kind of makes my blood run cold, and makes me feel as if this is one giant corporate greenwash in the making. I would love to know if anyone has looked into this — it’s extremely disturbing.

  5. archonic August 8, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Or it’s like a large successful corporation coming up with a smart idea (first among any large corporations or governments) for significantly reducing it’s footprint and footprint of it’s customers.

    You’re comments are kind of like the ramblings of a mis-informed poorly educated angry teen.

  6. swagv August 8, 2009 at 3:26 am

    Kind of like Josef Stalin presenting himself as a potential Nobel Peace Prize candidate for his reformed record on civil rights for prisoners…

  7. swagv August 8, 2009 at 3:22 am

    IMO, Wal-Mart has done more to destroy the environment than any other corporation in existence. Saving a few watts of power on store lighting does little to change the practices of unregulated dumping by Chinese suppliers, rewarding the supply chain for strip-mining practices, etc.

    This is like Stalin after WWII later seeking recognition for his exemplary human rights treatment of prisoners.

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