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Wal-Mart Announces Plan To Work with Suppliers to Substitute 20 Chemicals of Concern Over Two Years

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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. recently announced its plans to inspire innovation in chemicals used in various product selections. The company will begin implementing its "Preferred Chemical Principles" to establish a clear set of preferred chemical characteristics for product ingredients. The purpose is to drive the development of more sustainable products for mother, child and the environment.  The first three of these priority chemicals are being announced at the Molecule-to-Molecule meeting, a two-day event hosted by the Chemical Intensive Product Network (CIP), a group designed to engage suppliers, NGO’s, government, academics and other subject matter experts on issues and opportunities around product sustainability.

“One of our environmental goals at Wal-Mart is to sell products that sustain our resources and our environment,” said John Westling, senior vice president and general merchandise manager, Merchandise Division, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.  “We are excited about how this set of principles will help move us toward more sustainable products for mother, child and the environment, and the three priority chemicals we are focusing on are a first step in implementation.  We plan to extend this effort to 17 additional chemicals over the next two years.  We anticipate that our efforts will encourage our suppliers and their suppliers to innovate new product formulations that will be better for our customers and for the environment.”

The company has adopted a three-stage process to drive innovation and inspire suppliers to find substitutes for chemicals of concern. The three stages include, (1) Awareness – where participating suppliers will be given a period to identify for Wal-Mart any of their products that currently use one of the priority chemicals as ingredients, (2) Development of an Action Plan – where suppliers communicate to Wal-Mart their plans regarding the Priority Chemicals in their products, and (3) Recognition and Reward – where Wal-Mart acknowledges the suppliers who participate in this effort..

The first three chemicals include two pesticides: propoxur and permethrin (both used in household insect control products) and an ingredient in some cleaning products: nonyl phenol ethoxylates (NPE).  The company’s preference is to move to alternative chemicals that meet the Wal-Mart Preferred Chemical Principles in its efforts toward a more sustainable future.

Via: (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.)

Written by John-Paul Maxfield

John-Paul Maxfield is the founder of Waste Farmers. Waste Farmers is a next generation sustainable agricultural company focused on helping humanity meet current and future food demands, while decreasing agriculture’s environmental footprint. The Company started in 2009 with $9,000 and a belief that idealism and capitalism can coexist. Today Waste Farmers has evolved into an innovator respected by leaders in the global community for developing simple solutions to the complex problems of modern agriculture and food security. Prior to starting Waste Farmers, John-Paul founded the "The Inspired Economist", a blog focused on covering the people, places, ideas, and technologies inspiring positive change and redefining capitalism.
In addition, John-Paul served as an Associate a private equity group specializing in small to mid cap service companies. In this capacity he focused on planning, forecasting, budgeting, and performance evaluation of MBH and its designated subsidiaries. Prior to joining MBH, John-Paul was an Analyst with Alvarez and Marsal where he spent the majority of his time on a team that aided Louisiana’s Recovery School District with the restoration of public schools post Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

John-Paul is active in the Colorado community, serving on the Board of the Rocky Mountain MS Center. In 2007 he was selected as one of the “Fifty for the Future” by the Colorado Statesman and is a graduate of the inaugural class of Impact Denver. John-Paul holds a BA from the University of Colorado.

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