Walmart will develop a worldwide sustainable product index that will establish a single source of data for evaluating the sustainability of products.
The company will introduce the initiative in three phases, beginning with a survey of its more than 100,000 suppliers. The survey includes 15 questions that will serve as a tool for Walmart's suppliers to evaluate their own sustainability efforts. The questions will focus on energy and climate; material efficiency; natural resources, and people and community.
Outside the United States, the company will develop timelines on a country-by-country basis for suppliers to complete the survey.
As a second step, the company is creating a consortium of universities that will collaborate with suppliers, retailers, NGOs, and government to develop a global database of information on the lifecycle of products -- from raw materials to disposal.
The final step in developing the index, it said, will be to translate the product information into a rating for consumers about the sustainability of products.
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