Nanjing University staff will work with TSC researchers to identify the social and environmental issues associated with consumer products and find ways to improve their sustainability. Research at Nanjing will focus on electronics, manufactured goods, clothing, footwear and textiles. Research, which will examine regional issues and opportunities, will be used to improve TSC’s product sustainability criteria.
TSC also appointed Dong Zhou as director of the organization’s operations in China. Zhou has more than 20 years of experience working in the Chinese government, nonprofit management and corporate social responsibility.
This is the fourth academic institution — a group including Wageningen University, Arizona State University and University of Arkansas — to join the TSC. ASU and University of Arkansas are joint administrators of TSC, which boasts more than 90 members including chemical company BASF, retailer Best Buy, Coca-Cola, Kimberly-Clark, L’Oreal, Mars, Monsanto, SAP, Unilever and Walmart.
The Walmart Foundation gave a $2 million grant to launch TSC in China as part of a number of sustainability supply chain initiatives it announced last year.
Walmart set a goal in 2009 to develop a sustainability index to improve sustainability across the consumer goods industry. TSC developed a reporting system and measurement tools for Walmart, and other members of the consortium, to evaluate products and determine supplier sustainability performance.
The company has since rolled out the so-called Live Better Scorecard, which measures product sustainability using metrics developed by TSC. Last year, Walmart hit its goal to roll out the scorecard to buyers in more than 100 categories and had planned to add another 100 categories.