Scorecard designed to help the retailer with its sustainable development goals

The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores, is to begin using its packaging scorecard to rate suppliers on their progress toward developing sustainable packaging.

Wal-Mart buyers will be able to use the scorecard as a tool when making purchasing decisions.

First unveiled at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2006, and put through a trial phase for the past year, the scorecard is Wal-Mart's next step in moving toward its goal to achieve a 5 % packaging reduction by 2013.

Matt Kistler, senior vice president of sustainability at Wal-Mart, commented: "The packaging scorecard helps everyone make better decisions that are good for business, our customers and the environment. It's important to us that our suppliers see the intrinsic value behind sustainability, both for their business and the environment. We've made significant progress throughout the first year of the scorecard and it is a key responsibility of our suppliers to input new products and update packaging changes on an ongoing basis."

As of January 30, 2008, more than 97,000 products have been entered into the scorecard by 6,371 distinct vendors.

The scorecard evaluates the sustainability of product packaging based on several key metrics, including greenhouse gas emissions, product-to-package ratio, space utilization, innovation, the amount of renewable energy used in packaging production and emissions related to the distance packaging materials are transported.

Suppliers receive a score in each category and can view how they rate overall compared to their competitors in each product category.