Eco Buzz | Walmart Announces Further Commitment to ‘Sustainable Chemistry’, 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices Reveals World’s Most Sustainable Companies

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Eco Buzz | Walmart Announces Further Commitment to ‘Sustainable Chemistry’, 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices Reveals World’s Most Sustainable Companies

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Walmart Strengthens Commitment to ‘Sustainable Chemistry’

The hottest trend in the corporate world is ‘transparency’ with Walmart being another big name company to announce a further commitment to this business ‘value’.

Yesterday the company announced an update to its ‘Sustainable Chemistry Commitment’:

  • requiring all suppliers to provide full ingredient disclosure of priority chemicals both online and on product packaging beginning in 2018
  • seeking advancement in product formulations
  • offering more sustainably formulated products by encouraging use of two additional third party verification audits such as Cradle to Cradle and EWG Verified programs

“We know our customers are interested in what goes into products and how they are made. It’s important for them, and we are advocating for them by encouraging innovation and transparency into that process,” said Zach Freeze, Walmart’s senior director of strategic initiatives for sustainability. “Our strengthened commitment provides more clarity on our expectations for suppliers in working towards enhanced product formulations and setting concrete benchmarks to check progress along the way.”

Walmart Announces Strengthens Commitment to 'Sustainable Chemistry'

Walmart’s Sustainable Chemistry Commitment was launched in 2013 covering approximately 90,000 consumer products – from household cleaners through to cosmetics and baby skincare products –  from 700 suppliers. It tracks and monitors an extensive list of chemicals in its products and works with stakeholders to review regulatory requirements. Last year, for the first time in its history, the company released the list of high priority chemicals and steps it will take to eliminate these substances from the products sold on store shelves.

While it is welcome news that the company is taking further steps to become more ‘green’ there is still a long way to go to repair its credibility in ‘social responsibility’ given the $10 per hour unliveable minimum wage it pays 1.5 million of its employees. – Jennifer Nini

Results Announced for Dow Jones Sustainability Indices Review 2017

The results of the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) review has been announced and of the 3,484 companies invited to take part, the data of 2,086 companies were analysed and of these, just 24 companies were selected to be ‘sustainability leaders’.

Some of the leaders by industry category include:

  • Automobiles & Components – Peugeot (France)
  • Banks – Westpac Banking Corporation (Australia)
  • Consumer Durables & Apparel – LG Electronics (Republic of Korea)
  • Consumer Services – InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (Great Britain)
  • Energy – Thai Oil PCL (Thailand)
  • Food & Staples Retailing – METRO AG (Germany)
  • Food, Beverage & Tobacco – Coca-Cola HBC AG (Switzerland)
  • Health Care Equipment & Services – Abbott Laboratories (USA)
  • Household & Personal Products -Henkel AG & Co KGaA (Germany)
  • Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences – Roche Holding (Switzerland)
  • Real Estate – Mirvac Group (Australia)
  • Software & Services – Amadeus IT Group SA (Spain)
  • Technology Hardware & Equipment – Konica Minolta Inc. (Japan)
2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices Reveals World's Most Sustainable Companies
Konica Minolta Inc. announced as a sustainability leader by 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices review. Credit: Unsplash

Launched in 1999, the DJSI is a highly-recognised corporate sustainability report and is the product of a partnership between S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI), one of the world’s leading index providers, and RobecoSAM, an investment specialist focused exclusively on ‘sustainability investing’. It is the first global index to track the leading sustainability-driven companies based on results of RobecoSAM’s ‘Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA)’ and S&P DJI’s index methodology which converts an average of 600 data points per company into one overall score.

Related Post: Just How Sustainable Is American ‘Ethical’ Fashion Label Everlane Anyway?

It is important to point out that the CSA methodology focuses on industry-specific ‘financial materiality’ sustainability criteria and not just environmental impact meaning that RobecoSAM identify financially relevant sustainability factors too, the important ‘intangible factors’ that relate to a companies’ ability to create long-term value (such as profitability, capital efficiency and risk exposure), as well as a company’s ability to innovate, attract talent, or anticipate regulatory changes because these ‘sustainability factors’ have significant impacts on a company’s competitive position and long-term financial performance.

To understand the rules-based methodology RobecoSAM uses to assess the sustainability practices of the world’s largest companies, click here– Jennifer Nini

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