WalMart, one of the most controversial companies in the world, has set its next step in the world of sustainability and ‘greenness’. Well, in Brazil that is.
Amazing, as Brazil is one of the biggest polluters in the world, is infamous for its ‘big mouth’ and empty words in regard to its natural treasures (Amazon, Pantanal, Cerrado etc), its negligence of implementing selective waste collection systems and waste management and its unwillingness to draft and enforce laws to reduce the tremendous problems of landfills.
Within this typical Brazilian ‘Wild West’ environment, the sustainability step of WalMart Brasil, is, due to its company size and influence within the world of the Brazilian consumer products companies, not only laudable but of sheer incalculable consequences, as the other supermarket chains have to follow and the (international) consumer products companies involved can’t stop this trend anymore. Whether they like it or not, they have to set the next step and have to be followed by companies not yet involved.
WalMart Brasil dictates, and in this case that’s a good one.
Above I used the word ‘trend’ which reminds me of my promise to write about the forecasted trends for 2010. Well, without saying that I’ll not write about the other trends as well, this is probably one of the trends most to be seen in 2010. The 6R’s (rethink, redesign, reduce, reuse, refill, and recycle) will definitely dominate the packaging trends in 2010.
But let’s go back to WalMart Brasil’s End-to-End Sustainable Packaging Project.
Last week Walmart introduced 10 products of some of its main suppliers that were developed within the End-to-End Project: Sustainability Across Boundaries. In other words the results of the analysis of the life cycle of these products – from raw material to disposal – in regard to reduce their environmental impacts.
Aware of the complexity of putting sustainability in supply chains into practice, especially in a world with some 7,000 suppliers and 60,000 items in its stores, Walmart challenged nine business partners with well-known brands to participate in the project.
PepsiCo’s chocolate product Organic Toddy, Nestlé’s line of Pureza Vital waters, Unilever’s concentrated fabric softener Comfort, Johnson&Johnson’s Band-Aid, Colgate-Palmolive’s disinfectant Pinho Sol, 3M’s bath sponge Ponjita Naturals Curauá, the Total Confort Pampers of Procter&Gamble, Coca-Cola Brasil’s Matte Leão Orgânico, Cargill’s line of vegetable oils with the brand name Liza, besides WalMart’s own brand of soap TopMax (manufactured by Bertolini).