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The announcement of Wal-Mart's Sustainable Index and the release of 15 questions that must be answered by vendors is a valuable opportunity for suppliers to improve their internal processes and to enhance their relationship with a key retailer, says Duncan Cheung, an analyst at GreenOrder, an LRN company that helps enterprises maximize the value of sustainability. In an article in Industry Week, Cheung says that the 15 questions can be boiled down to three simple ones:
1. Do you measure and set goals for your environmental impacts?
2. If so, what impacts are you measuring, what are your goals, and are they consistent with recognized standards?
3. Do you know if your suppliers are doing the same?
"If you are a Wal-Mart supplier just beginning to think about environmental impact, or even if you are already recognized as a leader in the space, you can use this as an opportunity to create or enhance your sustainability strategy, and create value for your company," Cheung says. "Perhaps most importantly, the 15 questions offer an opportunity to partner with a key retailer, gain insight into its processes and enhance your market position." Cheung offers guidelines to help companies frame their thinking around the index, regardless of where they are on the maturity curve.
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