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Retailers Push Manufacturers to Document Sustainable Practices

Posted By Jeff Moad, December 03, 2013 at 11:17 AM, in Category: Sustainability

Consumer goods manufacturers are feeling increased pressure to document their environmental impacts and sustainability efforts, as large retailers expand efforts to measure the sustainability of their suppliers.

U.S. giant Target is the latest retailer to roll out a scheme for measuring the environmental impacts created by suppliers. The company recently announced the Target Sustainability Product Standard, a scheme the company has begun to use to score suppliers’ products based on the sustainability of ingredients, ingredient transparency, and overall environmental impact.

Target said it already has asked vendors of more than 7,500 products—from household cleaners to baby care items--to complete the assessment, and it plans to add cosmetic products in 2014.

In an official statement, Target said, “As the Product Standard rolls out and matures, it will inform Target’s merchandising and product-placement decisions.”

Retailers such as Target appear to be responding to increased consumer interest in sustainable products and product information. Target competitor Walmart rolled out its own Sustainability Index in 2009.

Will efforts by large retailers to require increased sustainability reporting force suppliers to further reduce environmental impacts? Or are these moves little more than “greenwashing” on the part of retailers such as Target and Walmart?



Category: Sustainability
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Written by Jeff Moad

Jeff Moad is Research Director and Executive Editor with the Manufacturing Leadership Community. He also directs the Manufacturing Leadership Awards Program. Follow our LinkedIn Groups: Manufacturing Leadership Council and Manufacturing Leadership Summit



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