Wal-Mart Canada announced last week it will roll out its first Supply Chain Sustainability Scorecard this fall for all of its 290 Canadian stores.
The new guidelines are intended to fuel collaboration among its suppliers and will help Wal-Mart Canada and the larger corporation measure and reduce the environmental footprint of its product shipping process
In July 2006, Wal-Mart Canada and shipping supplier SCM changed the mode of transporting goods destined for 10 stores, located in Nova Scotia and PEI, from road to rail. This change has reduced carbon emissions by 2,600 tonnes.
For necessary road delivery, the companies converted 20 truck generators to electric power, saving 40,000 litres of fuel. Combined, these two measures are expected to deliver annual cost savings of more than $2 million.
By changing some shipping crates from cardboard to plastic, allowing boxes to be used approximately 60 times instead of once, Wal-Mart Canada has saved $4.5 million in costs, with expected waste reduction of more than 1,400 tonnes and carbon emissions reductions of 10,000 tonnes, due to the elimination of cardboard production. This Canadian initiative has become a best practice for other global Wal-Mart operations.
In evaluating its suppliers, Wal-Mart Canada will assess their practices on four categories: equipment, operations, facilities and corporate environmental commitment. The company will rate these suppliers on their use of sustainable alternatives for sourcing, packaging and delivery, green or energy-efficient buildings, and the company's overall culture of sustainability.