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Wal-Mart's Live Better Index proves consumers care about environment


BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart today announced an adoption rate increase of 66% from last year in its sustainability Live Better Index.

The Index has been tracking consumers' decisions to purchase five key eco-friendly products since April 2007. The overall adoption rate—sales compared to other products in the category—of these products serves as a nationwide trend indicator of consumer demand for 'green' products. The growth shows that shoppers, more and more, are considering the environment before making purchases.

The products focused on in the sustainability index were selected because consumers can make a conscious decision to purchase them for their environmental and cost-saving benefits, versus other products in the same category.

"When the sustainability Live Better Index was established, we wanted to help Americans understand that environmental choices were accessible and affordable for everyone," said Stephen Quinn, chief marketing officer at Wal- Mart. "The fact that product adoption has increased dramatically in one year shows that the decisions our customers make in the aisles coupled with Wal- Mart's commitment to providing more eco-friendly choices at the best value is helping consumers and the planet live better together."

The sustainability Live Better Index data for April 2008 show a 37% increase in adoption of organic milk and a 47% increase in adoption of CFL bulbs since April 2007. In October 2007, Wal-Mart began a nationwide transition to sell only concentrated liquid laundry detergent, which contributed to the increased adoption rate of the product. The other products are organic baby food and formula at an adoption rate of 4.12% (down from 4.31% in 2007), and extended life paper products at an adoption rate of 67.5% (up from 50.77% in 2007).

Wal-Mart will now begin tracking more categories, including sustainable coffee and eco-friendly cleaning products in the Live Better Index.

Wal-Mart also launched an environmental sustainability campaign this April in honor of Earth Month, which highlights eco-friendly products available at budget-friendly prices, including all of the products tracked on the sustainability Live Better Index. New products introduced to consumers included t-shirts made from transitional cotton and recycled plastic soda bottles and Sam's Choice sustainable coffees.

More details on the Live Better Index can be found online at

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