Walmart Suppliers' Top 10 Sustainability Myths Examined by ProQuest


More Info
									539                                                                                                            Enviromation

under an ‘‘umbrella standard’’ setting out requirements for       made a big difference in whether they would receive a
their use.                                                        contract. As an added incentive, a certified ISO 14001
     Julian Carroll, Managing Director of the European            system added points to a supplier’s score. In another
Organization for Packaging and the Environment                    example, Hewlett-Packard (‘‘HP’’) uses a detailed question-
(‘‘EUROPEN’’), noted, ‘‘Adoption of global standards on           naire during supplier audits, where the final score could
packaging and the environment will provide a foundation           either mean continued work or a cancelled contract.
reference point for any regional or local initiatives — either    Walmart is not alone in this club.
from the public or corporate sector — aimed at addressing         (2) CA: ‘‘The green consumer doesn’t exist. . . . I’d rather
environmental concerns about packaging. We are wit-               wait [to see] that it really matters to the customer.’’
nessing a rapid growth in the number of such initiatives,              The September and October 2009 issues of [Business
particularly outside Europe. Sometimes their goals are con-       and the Environment] delved into the Canadian view of
trary to each other and occasionally they don’t make any          manufacturers’ environmental claims and labeling, and
environmental sense. The proposed ISO standards could             provided insight into the efforts that some Canadian regu-
become a much needed benchmark for any proposed                   lators are taking to ensure such claims are valid. Environ-
regional, national or even local packaging regulation’’.          mental issues, or claims of greener products and services,
   The subcommittee hopes to have new standards                   are now mainstream, and building to a crescendo, perhaps
complete and approved by the second quarter of 2012.              even a tsunami. Would suppliers rather be riding that wave,
    Source: BUSINESS AND THE ENVIRONMENT, Vol. XXI, No. 1,        or be washed out to sea by it?
January 2010, published by CCH Inc., a Wolters Kluwer             (3) CA: ‘‘It’s too complex. Sustainability is just too compli-
business. This article is reproduced with permission.             cated.’’
                                                                       It doesn’t have to be. If one knows how to navigate the
Walmart Suppliers’ Top 10 Sustainability                          Internet, assistance can be just a click away. For example,
                                                                  the Global Reporting Initiative (‘‘GRI ’’)
Myths Examined                                                    ( is an excellent starting
     According to a blog post by Catherine Greener and            point for organizations seeking specific information and
Marc Major, the founders of Cleargreen Advisors (‘‘CA’’;          guidance on what is required in a GRI Sustainability Report., there are 10 ‘‘top sus-              Reports can be customized at different levels, based on an
tainability myths’’ in the supplier community. The authors        organization’s proficiency and level of understanding of the
base their findings on several years of working with              metrics involved. (See [Business and the Environment],
Walmart to help the retailer develop and usher in its own         December 2008, January 2009, February 2009.)
sustainability strategy, including all of the logistical issues
                                                                  (4) CA: ‘‘We can’t afford it. This will cost too much. . . . If this
related to introducing sustainability within the core busi-
To top