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Walmart Issues New Sustainable Chemical Policy

In an effort to improve the safety and sustainability of its products, Walmart has issued a new policy directing suppliers to remove hazardous chemicals from the supply chain and make products responsibly.

The retail giant has committed to empowering its customers and members by providing information about the products they purchase as part of its Policy on Sustainable Chemistry in Consumables.

“Walmart customers and Sam’s Club members expect products that are safe, affordable and sustainable. As part of its corporate mission to help people Save Money and Live Better, Walmart and Sam’s Club believe that customers/members should not have to choose between products that they can afford and products that are better for them and the environment,” according to a company statement.

The policy outlines an expectation of transparency and suppliers will be required to disclose all product ingredients online by product beginning January 2015 and disclose all priority chemicals on pack beginning January 2018.

Suppliers will also be asked to come up with safer formulations for their products. They will complete a Sustainability Index to track performance on chemical disclosure, risk assessment and hazard avoidance, and reduce, restrict and eliminate the use of priority chemicals using informed substitution principles.

In terms of design, Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. will work toward formulating its private brand products in accordance with the U.S EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) program, beginning in January 2014 with cleaning products and expanding to other categories as the program grows.

“Looking forward, Walmart would like to work with suppliers and the industry to accelerate the adoption and use of sustainable chemistry practices to meet the needs of our customers and the environment,” the company statement notes.

Walmart will monitor the progress of the policy and plans to communicate that progress starting January 2016.