Executive Briefings

Environmental Defense Fund Praises Walmart's Promise to Limit Products With Certain Chemicals

Walmart has announced a 95 percent reduction by weight of "high priority chemicals" from certain products sold in U.S. locations, according to its latest global responsibility report.

The company's policy on sustainable chemistry in consumables, launched in 2013, seeks to remove substances of high concern from goods such as personal care, paper, cleaning, pet and baby products.

It committed to begin publicly communicating its progress from January this year.

Absent from its announcement, however, is the list of the “ten or so” high priority chemicals that have been addressed. Kevin Gardner, senior director of Walmart’s global responsibility communications, told Chemical Watch that the company plans to release the list “in the coming months.”

The Environmental Defense Fund – an NGO that worked with Walmart on its sustainability goals – called the announcement a “promising step in the right direction”. But it added that “it is difficult to fully appreciate Walmart’s accomplishments, without knowing the names of these chemical targets.”

“[It] is what spurs innovation throughout the supply chain,” said Jennifer McPartland, senior scientist for EDF. Knowledge of the substances the company seeks to eliminate could help bring other players into the picture who want to be part of the solutions, she added, and could encourage other retailers to follow suit.

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The company's policy on sustainable chemistry in consumables, launched in 2013, seeks to remove substances of high concern from goods such as personal care, paper, cleaning, pet and baby products.

It committed to begin publicly communicating its progress from January this year.

Absent from its announcement, however, is the list of the “ten or so” high priority chemicals that have been addressed. Kevin Gardner, senior director of Walmart’s global responsibility communications, told Chemical Watch that the company plans to release the list “in the coming months.”

The Environmental Defense Fund – an NGO that worked with Walmart on its sustainability goals – called the announcement a “promising step in the right direction”. But it added that “it is difficult to fully appreciate Walmart’s accomplishments, without knowing the names of these chemical targets.”

“[It] is what spurs innovation throughout the supply chain,” said Jennifer McPartland, senior scientist for EDF. Knowledge of the substances the company seeks to eliminate could help bring other players into the picture who want to be part of the solutions, she added, and could encourage other retailers to follow suit.

Read Full Article