Walmart's New Low-Carbon Packaging Imperative

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Walmart's New Low-Carbon Packaging Imperative

Walmart's New Low-Carbon Packaging Imperative

There's no doubt about it; many brands and retailers focus on packaging, sustainability, and reducing the carbon footprint of packaging - but when Walmart makes a move, people listen. Recently it was announced that the retail giant has put recyclability first and foremost in the company's Sustainable Packaging Playbook. Walmart also supports the How2Recycle labeling system and encourages its use, and in April, they announced packaging as one of the six components of Project Gigaton.

Walmart hopes that by 2030, the company can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one gigaton. Project Gigaton, scheduled to take off this summer, puts carbon footprints back in the spotlight once again. Suppliers tend to cater to Walmart's demands, which now include reducing greenhouse gas emissions related to packaging while supplying Walmart with a report of progress being made.

Consumers today are more focused on the recyclability of packaging rather than the fact that it's low-carbon. Understandably, most companies focus on packaging initiatives that resonate with the buyer, although they may secretly work to decrease the carbon footprint of their packaging, which doesn't send the signal to consumers that the packaging used in products is significant when it comes to the carbon footprint of packaged products. Walmart definitely has a loud voice in the retail industry, and with its bold new directive, the message is sure to be heard loud and clear.

Ultimately, the overall goal is to view sustainability in a way where reducing the carbon footprint of packaging is equally as important as having packaging that's recyclable. Brands, retailers, and suppliers are sure to pay attention when Walmart speaks!

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January 10, 2014
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