Kathy Abusow, President & CEO at SFI
It is amazing to hear that Wal-Mart is actually supporting sustainability initiatives. I always think of Wal-Mart as a company that will do whatever it takes to lower their costs in spite of their impact on the environment and the consumer.
Recently, there has been a resurgence in corporate social responsibility and actually Wal-Mart has been one of the biggest players in the field. This is because when Wal-Mart decides to make a change, it has a far reaching impact. They have instituted many initiatives under the umbrella of sustainability but the one that touches us is their ethic to source forest products from certified forests and responsible sources of supply. Wal-Mart is very transparent in this approach and certainly appears to fully understand that only 10% of the world’s forests are certified and as such recognizes a variety of forest certification programs including SFI. SFI Inc. was pleased to see Wal-Mart advertising SFI certified products in their newspaper circulars as well as promoting other certification standards. For a retailer like Wal-Mart, choosing to carry products that are back by third-party certification is one way for them to meet their own environmental goals. Many other companies are also supporting independent, third party certification by including it in their procurement policies, labeling the product and seeking out certified products. This makes sense as consumer are becoming increasingly concerned about the source of the products they purchase, and when it comes to wood and paper products that means ensuring it comes from sustainable and legal sources. If you are interested in learning more about Wal-Mart’s corporate environmental policy you should visit their website here: http://walmartstores.com/Sustainability. My perception is that in terms of environmental initiatives Wal-Mart is clearly walking the talk when it comes to sourcing products from well-managed forests.
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