BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here said last week it has begun developing a new “sustainability index” that it hopes will make it easier for consumers to evaluate the environmental and societal impact of the products it sells. “Customers want and expect businesses to be transparent,” said Mike Duke, Wal-Mart's chief executive officer, in a webcast on the new initiative. Wal-Mart said its objective was to spur the creation of a vast database that would include the complete “lifecycle” ...

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