At its Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting in September 2013, Wal-Mart, the US-based retail giant, provided an overview of its new policy on Sustainable Chemistry in Consumables to reduce or eliminate the use of priority chemicals used in consumables products in favor of greener alternatives. The company plans to work closely with its suppliers to achieve the objectives of this policy. Besides chemicals, Wal-Mart also outlined key initiatives in recycling, fertilizers and energy efficiency at the meeting, which highlighted its progress with the Sustainability Index, a measurement system used to track the environmental impact of products.
With respect to implementation of its policy on chemicals in consumables, Wal-Mart will begin with household cleaning, personal care, beauty and cosmetic products, asking suppliers to transition to greener substitutes for priority chemicals. In addition, starting in January 2014, Wal-Mart will begin to label its private brand cleaning products in accordance with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended Design for the Environment (DfE) Safer Product Labeling program, and will continue to assess the applicability of DfE as Wal- Mart expands it to broader product areas.