Walmart first introduced its sustainability initiative to vendors in 2006 with its Packaging Scorecard. Over the last ten years, this initiative changed how companies packaged their products. Walmart has recently evolved their sustainability approach with the release of the Sustainable Packaging Playbook. It is designed to help companies increase sustainability by shifting the focus to the full life cycle of the package, prompting vendors to evaluate and report on everything from sourcing to the end of their supply chain.
The Sustainable Packaging Playbook presents a new set of challenges for packaging engineers. As Walmart has committed to buying 70% of the goods sold in its U.S. stores and clubs from suppliers participating in the index by 2017, the need to overcome these challenges is significant. With Walmart playing a pivotal role in most omnichannel packaging strategies, it is critical for companies to learn and apply these new guidelines. In this article, we will explore the three main goals set forth by the Sustainable Packaging Playbook and how to address them: