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Wal-Mart Sustainable Packaging Scorecard

As part of Wal-Mart’s continuing efforts to address its environmental footprint, the company announced a goal to reduce packaging across its global supply chain by 5% by 2013, helping Wal-Mart and its suppliers improve packaging and conserve resources.

In an effort to achieve this target, the retailer has announced an innovative scorecard system that will allow manufacturers to rank their current use of packaging. The system is designed to drive competitive advantage through packaging sustainability. In 2008 Wal-Mart will make purchasing decisions based on the scorecard results.

Packaging Scorecard Metrics

Wal-Mart’s packaging scorecard is a measurement tool that allows suppliers to evaluate themselves relative to other suppliers, based on specific metrics. The metrics in the scorecard evolved from a list of favorable attributes announced earlier this year, known as the “7 R’s of Packaging”: Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Renew, Revenue, and Read. Through months of consultations, the Packaging Sustainable Value Network, a group of 200 leaders in the global packaging industry, including suppliers, experts, and internal and external stakeholders, outlined the following metrics for the packaging scorecard:

The scorecard is focused on four key concepts:

  1. Material Type – what packaging materials are used
  2. Material Weight – how much of each material is used
  3. Material Distance – how far the packaging component traveled before being filled
  4. Packaging Efficiency – how efficiently space is utilized

The scorecard is divided into four sections:

  1. Background & Product Info – includes questions about the seller, product and purchasing division
  2. Selling Unit Packaging Materials – includes questions about packaging taken home from the retail location by the consumer
  3. Transport Packaging Materials – includes questions about packaging used to transport selling units to the retail location and are then discarded by the retail location
  4. Additional Information – includes optional questions are energy usage and manufacturing processes

Packaging Scorecard Tool

Wal-Mart's Packaging Scorecard tool has helped put the concept of sustainable packaging in the forefront of many companies' and consumers' minds, and thus has been a key driver in trying to understand what sustainability truly is.

Wal-Mart’s new Package Modeling 3.0 is a research & development tool that enables companies to find potential sustainability improvements in their product packaging. It is also a big part of Wal-Mart's ongoing sustainability efforts and is used by the retailer's direct suppliers to find ways they can improve their scores on the Sustainable Packaging Scorecard.

Package Modeling 3.0 may also be used by Wal-Mart suppliers with Retail Link access to manage their items and directly upload them into the Sustainable Packaging Scorecard. Companies who supply direct Wal-Mart suppliers (packaging raw material and converted packaging suppliers) may also significantly benefit from the software by being able to demonstrate to their clients how using their product could help improve their scores on the Wal-Mart Scorecard.

Diamond designers are well-versed in Wal-Mart’s Sustainable Packaging Scorecard system, and utilize the Package Modeling software tool when designing green packaging options. Since Wal-Mart has consistently said the Scorecard is dynamic and changes will be made to accommodate new and better information as it is made available, Diamond designers will keep you informed of the latest developments.

For more information on Wal-Mart's Sustainable Packaging Scorecard, visit the Wal-Mart Facts website.

For more information on Wal-Mart's Packaging Modeling software, visit the Package Modeling website.