Wal-Mart Announces Future of Packaging Scorecard

Wal-Mart Announces Future of Packaging Scorecard

Heading into the third year of using its self-made scorecard for evaluating suppliers' packaging, Wal-Mart has announced plans to expand the scorecard's use and shift its focus.

Amy Zettlemoyer-Lazar, packaging director for Sam's Club's and co-manager of Wal-Mart's Sustainability Value Network, spoke about the future of the Wal-Mart packaging scorecard during a keynote presentation at Pack Expo 2008.

First announced in late 2006, the scorecard is part of Wal-Mart's plan to reduce packaging in its supply chain by 5 percent by 2013. The scorecard lets suppliers evaluate their packaging in relation to other suppliers and see where they are leading or lacking in areas like recycled content, value of packaging material and greenhouse gas emissions per ton of production.

The scorecard, currently used only in the U.S., will be rolled out to Canada, China, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Central America, Japan and India throughout 2010. It will also expand to the United Kingdom and Argentina, but no deadline for those countries has been set yet.

Wal-Mart will also adjust the metrics used to score packaging, increasing its focus on greenhouse gas emissions, packaging weight and recycled content. Wal-Mart's Sustainability Value Network also plans to discuss factoring in the countries of origin for raw materials.

Sam's Club, owned by Wal-Mart, is developing tests with the International Safe Transit Association to duplicate conditions in Wal-Mart's supply chain to ensure that as suppliers alter packaging, they do not incidentally make packaging weaker and leave products more susceptible to damage.

Wal-Mart will make further announcements about its packaging scorecard at its Sustainable Packaging Expo in Bentonville, Ark., in April 2009.