Wal-Mart Greenwashing With Eco-Indexing System?
Today, if Wal-Mart has an innovative idea to attract consumers, chances are other retailers will want to use the idea too. Sometimes this can be a bad thing, but sometimes it can also be good. For example, take the new eco-indexing system Wal-Mart plans to have in place within 5 years. If the system succeeds consumers will know the environmental impact of their purchases.
If Wal-Mart's new eco-indexing system is put into affect within the next 5 years and if it succeeds consumers will know more about the eco-impact the products they buy have on the environment. Question such as: how much water was used to create this product, how far did it travel, what chemicals were used to preserve it, how much packaging and fuel were used to transport it, could all be answered.
"The idea is to create a universal rating system that scores products based on how environmentally and socially sustainable they are over the course of their lives. Consider it the green equivalent to nutrition labels" (The New York Times).
To find the answers to these types of questions above Wal-Mart put together a team of different people to do the research and create the eco-data system. The team of people includes: environmental groups, scholars and suppliers. Wal-Mart isn't trying to hog the eco-fame either. Retailers like Target and Costco's have been invited to join Wal-Mart in search for a solution that all retailers can use.
There is a lot to do in a little bit of time, but the outlook is positive so far. Still it brings to question more questions. Will Wal-Mart be able to pull off this innovative idea and if it does will it succeed? How much will a system like this cost and will it bring the prices of the products up or down? If Wal-Mart eco-indexing system is a success will other retailers adopt the system too? How big of a positive eco-impact can this bring on the environment? Is it worth the effort? Does Wal-Mart really want to make a difference or is this just another form of greenwashing? It is a lot to think about.