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Packaging improvement process begins


Now that Wal-Mart’s buyers are using a packaging scorecard to evaluate the performance of suppliers, look for a wave of innovation as it relates to packaging and product formulations.

Suppliers spent last year populating scorecards with information regarding packaging, and to date information on nearly 100,000 products from 6,371 different vendors has been entered into the scorecard. Now the emphasis among suppliers shifts to how to improve their packaging scores as Wal-Mart buyers integrate packaging scores into purchasing decisions. Wal-Mart’s goal is to achieve a 5% reduction in packaging by 2013. That specific goal is part of the company’s broader effort to reduce waste, use renewable energy and sell sustainable products.

The scorecard evaluates the sustainability of product packaging based on key metrics such as 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.

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