B.1. Complete the Sustainability Index to report performance on chemical disclosure, risk assessment and hazard avoidance.

Description

The Sustainability Index program is a powerful tool that is helping Walmart to understand, monitor, and enhance the sustainability of our products and supply chain. The Sustainability Index uses questionnaires that are based on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) developed by The Sustainability Consortium (TSC), a multi-stakeholder organization working to develop a science-based, sustainability measurement and reporting system for consumer goods.

Resources
Measurement
  • Completion of the Sustainability Index for relevant and available product categories
  • Responses to relevant Sustainability Index key performance indicators

Walmart uses the Sustainability Index to capture key performance indicators, including one on priority chemicals. The Index does not cover all product categories for the policy and participation is voluntary. For the Consumables and Health & Wellness business, Walmart suppliers who represent 87% of sales and Sam's Club suppliers who represent 82.6% of sales have participated in the Index, where surveys are available.

Walmart

Supply chain disclosure: In 2015, 37% of respondents* [in the departments and relevant product categories covered by our sustainable chemistry policy] reported that they require ingredient and raw material suppliers to disclose 1) all intentionally added substances in their ingredients and 2) a (self-determined) list of priority chemicals present in the ingredient at or above 100ppm, whether intentionally added or not.

Product and ingredient safety evaluations: In 2015, 64% of respondents reported that they go beyond ensuring legal and regulatory compliance in some capacity to help ensure consumers and the environment are not harmed by their products or product ingredients. 17% of these respondents include aggregate exposure in their chemical risk assessments.

Management of priority chemicals: In 2015, 71% of respondents report that they have programs to reduce, restrict, and eliminate priority chemicals in their products. 42% of these respondents publicly disclose their goals and progress.

Sam's Club

Supply chain disclosure: In 2015, 53% of respondents [in the departments and relevant product categories covered by our sustainable chemistry policy] reported that they require ingredient and raw material suppliers to disclose all intentionally added substances in their ingredients as well as a (self-determined) list of priority chemicals present in the ingredient at greater than 100ppm, whether intentionally added or not.

Product and ingredient safety evaluations: In 2015, 85% of respondents report that they go beyond ensuring legal and regulatory compliance in some capacity to help ensure consumers and the environment are not harmed by their products or product ingredients. 22% of these respondents include aggregate exposure in their chemical risk assessments.

Management of priority chemicals: In 2015, 90% of respondents report that they have programs to reduce, restrict, and eliminate priority chemicals in their products. 48% of these respondents publicly disclose their goals and progress.

NOTE: Surveys are conducted on a product category basis, which means that there is potential for a single supplier who sells in multiple product categories to answer one question multiple times or for a single supplier who sells multiple product types in the same department to answer one question multiple times.

B.2. & B.2.a. Reduce, restrict and eliminate use of priority chemicals using informed substitution principles. Walmart U.S. and Sam's Club U.S. have defined a list of authoritative and regulatory lists, which will be made public, to identify "Walmart Priority Chemicals" within the scope of this policy.

Description

All suppliers are expected to reduce, restrict and eliminate use of priority chemicals using informed substitution principles. Walmart U.S. and Sam's Club U.S. have defined a list of authoritative and regulatory lists (made publicly available through Appendix 1) to identify "Walmart Priority Chemicals" within the scope of this policy.

Informed substitution is the considered transition from a chemical of particular concern to safer chemicals or non-chemical alternatives1. Using informed substitution principles will mitigate hazard risks associated with product formulation and achieve compliance with Walmart's Policy on Sustainable Chemistry in Consumables. Per Walmart Compliance procedures, a new UPC/GTIN must be issued on products that have changes to formulation or composition. For additional information on UPC change requirements, please go to the Walmart Compliance Website.

In the aim of advancing safer formulated products and promoting informed substitution, Walmart recommends the major tenets of Alternatives Assessment, a process for identifying, comparing and selecting safer alternatives to priority chemicals (including those in materials, processes or technologies) on the basis of their hazards, performance, and economic viability.2

The Commons Principles of Alternatives Assessment are reproduced here:3

  1. REDUCE HAZARD
  2. MINIMIZE EXPOSURE
  3. USE BEST AVAILABLE INFORMATION
  4. REQUIRE DISCLOSURE AND TRANSPARENCY
  5. RESOLVE TRADE-OFFS
  6. TAKE ACTION

Walmart encourages its suppliers to use methods, databases, and lists such as the ones listed in Appendix 3 (Guides for Alternatives Assessment) on their journey to reduce and eliminate priority chemicals using informed substitution.

Walmart also welcomes innovative products that have been certified or screened by programs that clearly state continuous improvement and informed safer substitution as program principles, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Safer Choice Labeling Program.

[1] U.S. EPA. 2012. EPA's DfE Standard for Safer Products (DfE Standard)
[2] Chemical Commons. 2013. The Commons Principles for Alternatives Assessment
[3] Ibid

Resources
  • See Appendix 1 for a list of authoritative and regulatory reference lists of priority chemicals that Walmart uses to identify Walmart Priority Chemicals.
  • Going forward, the WERCSmart website will be modified so that when a supplier enters the formulation of a product, the supplier will be notified if a particular component of your product is a Walmart Priority Chemical and/or Walmart High Priority Chemical (see Appendix 5 for illustration)
  • See Appendix 3 for a non-exhaustive list of guides for alternatives assessment aligned with The Commons Principles of Alternatives Assessment that suppliers may use to advance safer formulation of products using informed substitution.
Measurement

Walmart will track the policy elements in section B.2.a. using the metrics listed in the table below and information from The Wercs. Suppliers' proprietary formulations will remain strictly confidential and will not be shared with Walmart. The metrics will be attributed to individual suppliers at the item level by chemical functional class (e.g. Supplier X sells Product Y which contains a preservative that is a Walmart Priority Chemical). Individual supplier performance will remain strictly confidential (see Section III for how Walmart will publicly report on aggregate progress). Additionally, Walmart will track individual Walmart Priority Chemicals by CAS number for products in the aggregate, but not attributed to individual suppliers or individual products (e.g. X pounds of Walmart Priority Chemical Y in department Z).

To capture this data, Walmart shares internal inventory data from Retail Link (a decision support system that is a bridge between Walmart and its suppliers) to The Wercs (see definition above). The Wercs combines the Retail Link data with formulation data submitted by all our suppliers (for compliance purposes) into the WERCSmart system. The metrics below capture the reduction of priority chemicals by weight volume, the restriction and elimination of priority chemicals by number of UPCs, and number of suppliers.

B.2.b. From among "Walmart Priority Chemicals," Walmart U.S. and Sam's Club U.S. have identified a subset of approximately ten "Walmart High Priority Chemicals" as a starting point for suppliers and will inform suppliers of the presence of Walmart High Priority Chemicals through our partner, The Wercs.

Description

From among Walmart Priority Chemicals, Walmart has identified a subset of approximately ten "Walmart High Priority Chemicals" as a starting point for suppliers to reduce, restrict and eliminate using informed substitution principles. This list of Walmart High Priority Chemicals is based on (a) authoritative lists, (b) current and pending regulatory lists, (c) high prevalence in Walmart products, and (d) concerns of direct exposure to consumers.

  • First, for those products that are currently registered with The Wercs, The Wercs will send a one-time email to each supplier indicating which of their products have Walmart High Priority Chemicals. The email will identify the product and the Walmart High Priority Chemical.
  • Second, the WERCSmart website will be modified so that when a supplier enters the formulation for a product, the supplier will be notified if a particular component of its product is a Walmart High Priority Chemical.

Walmart requests that the information that suppliers receive in this manner, particularly, the identification of Walmart High Priority Chemicals, be used by the respective supplier to achieve the goals of the Policy, and not be disclosed or used outside the supplier's organization.

Resources
  • Initial email notification from The Wercs indicating which products have Walmart High Priority Chemicals, identifying both the product and the corresponding Walmart High Priority Chemical
  • Going forward, the WERCSmart website will be modified so that when a supplier enters the formulation of a product, the supplier will be notified if a particular component of your product is a Walmart Priority Chemical and/or Walmart High Priority Chemical (see Appendix 5)
  • Going forward, the WERCSmart website will be modified so that when a supplier enters the formulation of a product, the supplier will be notified if a particular component of your product is a Walmart Priority Chemical and/or Walmart High Priority Chemical (see Appendix 5)
Measurement

To capture this data, Walmart shares internal inventory data from Retail Link (a decision support system that is a bridge between Walmart and its suppliers) to The Wercs (see definition above). The Wercs combines the Retail Link data with formulation data submitted by all our suppliers (for compliance purposes) into the WERCSmart system. In analyzing the data, we were able to identify a small number of suppliers used the largest volumes of all high priority chemicals (HPCs), with one supplier in particular using the majority of HPCs in only a few select products. We have encouraged these suppliers to reformulate their products to remove the high priority and priority chemicals. While we have removed 95% of HPCs by weight, there is still a long way to go before removing all HPCs, and we will continue to actively encourage suppliers to advance safer formulations. The metrics below capture the reduction of high priority chemicals by weight volume, the restriction and elimination of high priority chemicals by number of UPCs, and number of suppliers.