Yesterday our team took a trip to the local Wal-Mart, and we were on a mission: to hunt down products that we feel have opportunities for improvement in various areas of sustainability. Hallie, our fearless mission leader, provided us with a helpful list of questions to answer in our search for said products. One of our tasks was to find a product that had extraneous packaging (makeup is a great example). Upon finding this product, we were to brainstorm how this product might creatively reduce their packaging.
Not only were we to find products that could use some improvement, but also products that are good examples of socially responsible companies. For instance, Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” is a perfect example of a socially responsible practice. Dove ads feature real women of all different types to show that everyone is beautiful, not just the models you see in magazines. They also help promote self-esteem in young girls and faciliate programs as such.
Further, they’ve partnered with Wal-Mart to run a TV commercial entitled “Let Your Beauty Sing”, featuring real women singing a modified version of the song, “Do Your Ears Hang Low?” in different settings of their every day lives.
I’ll admit, our team was a little overwhelmed by the thought of being let loose in Wal-Mart, with over 10,000 products on the shelves. But surprisingly, we were able to zero in on certain types of products right away that we knew to be less than sustainable.
The Sustainable Product Index that Wal-Mart is developing will eventually be like a nutrition label for sustainability, where suppliers are required to disclose information about their products on the products themselves. Right now Wal-Mart has asked their suppliers to fill out a questionnaire regarding four areas: Energy & Climate (reducing energy costs and GHGs), Material Efficiency (reducing waste/enhancing quality), Nature & Resources (responsibly sourced raw materials) and People & Community (productive/vibrant workplaces and communities).
The goal is to give consumers enough information to make informed purchasing decisions, truly putting sustainability in the hands of the consumers. What are your thoughts on the Index? Do you ever think about these areas when shopping at Wal-Mart? Do you usually go for convenience over everything else?
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Statement from the most senior decision-maker of the organization about relevance of sustainability to the organization and the organization’s strategy for addressing sustainability
Name of the organization
Primary brands, products, and services
Location of organization’s headquarters
Number of countries where the organization operates, and names of countries with significant operations or that are specifically relevant to the sustainability topics covered in the report
Nature of ownership and legal form
Scale of the reporting organization
Total workforce by employment type, employment contract, and region, broken down by gender
Percentage of total employees covered by collective bargaining agreements
Description of the organization’s supply chain
Significant changes during the reporting period regarding organization's size, structure, ownership, or supply chain
Whether and how the precautionary approach or principle is addressed by the organization
Externally developed economic, environmental, and social charters, principles, or other initiatives to which the organization subscribes or endorses
Memberships in associations and/or national/international advocacy organizations
Entities included in the organization consolidated financial and nonfinancial reports
Process for defining report content
Material aspects identified in the process for defining report content
For each material aspect, the aspect boundary within the organization
For each material aspect, the aspect boundary outside the organization
Explanation of the effect of and reasons for any restatements of information provided in earlier reports
Significant changes from previous reporting periods in the scope and aspect boundaries
List of stakeholder groups engaged by the organization
The basis for identification and selection of stakeholders with whom to engage
The organization’s approach to stakeholder engagement, including frequency of engagement by type and by stakeholder group, and an indication of whether any of the engagement was undertaken specifically as part of the report preparation process
Key topics and concerns that have been raised through stakeholder engagement, and how the organization has responded to those key topics and concerns, including through its reporting. Report the stakeholder groups that raised each of the key topics and concerns
Date of most recent previous report
Contact point for questions regarding the report or its contents
‘In accordance’ option and GRI Content Index
Policy and current practice with regard to seeking external assurance for the report
Governance structure of organization, including committees of the highest governance body
The organization’s values, principles, standards, and norms of behavior such as codes of conduct and codes of ethics
Disclosure on Management Approach for Aspect
Coverage of the organization’s defined benefit plan obligations.
Financial assistance received from government.
Significant indirect economic impacts, including the extent of impacts.
Total number and rates of new employee hires and employee turnover by age group, gender and region.
Average hours of training per year per employee, by gender and by employee category.
Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews, by gender and by employee category.