On July 16, Wal-Mart announced that it will require all of its product suppliers to calculate the environmental impact of their products. Wal-Mart will compile the information into a green rating system to be displayed alongside the product’s price tag.
Since Wal-Mart is the world’s largest retailer, this move will certainly set an important example for other companies. Alex Salkever of Daily Finance characterized the move’s impact here:
Wal-Mart has done something huge here, something amazing that the environmental movement has failed to do in forty years of struggles. Wal-Mart has forced transparency and accountability on the entire consumer products market, a move that will have profound and long-ranging effects not only on what we buy but also on what chemicals go into our homes, our bodies, and ultimately into our ecosystem. In other words, if this plan goes through, Wal-Mart could become the greenest company on Earth.
Some drawbacks: expect prices on these products to rise because it costs money to track and report this information. Also, you’ll feel weird saying nice things about Wal-Mart.