Walmart, Tesco Vendors Get Supply Chain Help from Five Winds

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Five Winds International has created a new website to help companies meet supplier sustainability requirements being imposed by retailers.

Walmart, Marks & Spencer and Tesco are among the biggest retailers to ask or require that suppliers provide greener products or packaging and report on their sustainability efforts.

On its new retail-focused site, consulting firm Five Winds will publish a series of three white papers in the coming months to provide consumer goods suppliers with guidance on how to respond to retailers' supply chain requirements and programs.

“Ten years ago, we were working mostly with top consumer brands and niche 'green' companies to understand sustainability issues, improve product performance and help them grow their business and succeed in the marketplace,” Jim Fava, Five Winds' managing director, said in a statement. “Now retailers are asking everyone to measure up to a much higher standard, and many companies are finding they need to catch up.”
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The site will include summaries of research by Five Winds, as well as tools for companies, like an online calculator companies can use to see how their products score on Walmart's Supplier Sustainability Assessment.

Changes that lower the impacts of products and packaging not only meets the demands of retailers but can also improve the public perception of companies, according to the first Sustainability Tracking Study.

In the study, commissioned by U.K. postal advice and management company Onepost, almost 60 percent of consumers said that product packaging influences their judgment of a company's environmental image, while 47 percent take into account the types of products a brand sells.

The study also asked consumers about how direct mail changes their perception of companies.

About 33 percent said that they view a company as environmentally friendly if they print a recycle logo on an item of direct mail. The main factors that lower a company's environmental image are wrapping mail in plastic bags (cited by 50 percent of consumers) and mail sent to the wrong address (30 percent).

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