BENTONVILLE, Ark. — At its 2012 Sustainability Milestone Meeting here yesterday, executives at Wal-Mart Stores said the company has piloted is “sustainability scorecard” across nine or 10 categories over the past year and plans to roll it out this year to another 100 categories across its U.S. businesses.
“We will go to cereal and apparel, and we’re looking at hardware, electronics and toys,” Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising/marketing officer, Wal-Mart U.S., said at the meeting, which was broadcast and is available for viewing at www.walmartgreenroom.com. Moreover, in 2013 “we’re going to spread [the scorecard] across the entire categories,” he said.
In addition, Wal-Mart is planning to soon launch an “incentive plan” incorporating sustainability progress for its buyers and merchants, and will recognize suppliers who are supporting sustainability as well as meet with suppliers “who aren’t doing so well,” Mac Naughton said.
Wal-Mart has been collaborating with the Sustainability Consortium, Tempe, Ariz., on developing category sustainability profiles, whereby suppliers are ranked by their sustainability progress, with actionable recommendations given to merchants for collaborating with suppliers, said Linda Hefner, chief merchandising officer, Sam's Club, at the meeting.
Though focusing on the category level, Wal-Mart intends to ultimately provide more information at the product level, said Andrea Thomas, senior vice president, sustainability, Wal-Mart, during a conference call after the meeting. “It’s natural to start at the broader category level, where you can impact more products in the short term,” she said. “In the long term, providing information for consumers is still within the scope [of the program].
The category-level analysis allows Wal-Mart to focus on “sustainability hot spots within those categories” and rank suppliers “based on information they provide us around those hot spots,” said Thomas. Wal-Mart is not making supplier information or rankings public, she added.