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Wal-Mart, Kroger Hold Sustainability Talks

walmart-truck2Normally, Wal-Mart holds court. But to kick-start its sustainability index, Wal-Mart took the unusual step of traveling to the Cincinnati headquarters of competitor Kroger to talk up the effort.

“Having Wal-Mart go to a meeting at Kroger’s headquarters and talk about the sustainability index was a first,” said Matt Kistler, senior vice president for sustainability at Wal-Mart, at a recent Grocery Manufacturers Association meeting, reports Supermarket News.

Kistler credited the GMA with helping to coordinate the meeting with Kroger.

The sustainability index may prompt a new line of thinking at Wal-Mart, which has built its business on selling the cheapest products available.

Kistler said the retailer is considering products based on total system costs, not simply individual product costs.

“We may pay more for packaging because it ships products better and has recyclable value,” he said in the article.

With the creation of a consortium to define the index, Wal-Mart went to extra lengths to be transparent and inclusive with its sustainability index. Wal-Mart invited competitors Costco and Target, along with Kroger, to join the consortium.

The consortium will be led by Jon Johnson, who holds the Walton professorship in sustainability at the University of Arkansas, along with Jay Golden, an assistant professor in the school of sustainability at Arizona State. Among major suppliers said to be involved are Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Tyson, General Mills and Tyson, among others.

To ensure that companies faithfully report their emissions, suppliers to Wal-Mart will be required to report their emissions through the Carbon Disclosure Project.

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3 thoughts on “Wal-Mart, Kroger Hold Sustainability Talks

  1. There’s an error in the article above. In the last sentence, it should be the “Carbon Disclosure Project” cited.

  2. I find it funny that you are talking about….“We may pay more for packaging because it ships products better and has recyclable value,” he said in the article. Recyclable value my butt. I have bought products that I can’t even recycle such as your Propane Fule bottles that you have marketed for the small propane heaters and now I can’t find anywhere to recycle or even throw them away. I am angry that I have trash that I can’t get rid of, but did you stop to think about that? NO you didn’t. I have gone to Wal-mart and asked what I can do and I get the standard answer “I don’t know what to tell you”. I will call the news papers and ask them what I should do with products that are being sold by Wal-mart that can’t be thrown away or even recycled? Please don’t give me an answer that I can do something with them, because I have tried everything except throwning them away in your dumpster.

  3. Hi,

    If you’re interested CNBC is airing an original documentary, “The NEW Age of Walmart” which premieres Wednesday, September 23 at 9P ET on CNBC. The show will discuss the store’s new green policies with the CEO. Check out the sneak peak here: http://bit.ly/12Tnlw
    And for more info:http://bit.ly/l8okr

    Thanks so much and good luck with your work.

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