With the abundance of government-run and industry-lead “green programs” around the world, it was probably only a matter of time before retailers also started getting into the picture. In fact, since retailers are closest to the consumer, they may be in the best position to raise awareness about environmentally-friendly products.
The latest example of this comes from Walmart, which recently announced that they will unveil a Sustainable Product Index. According to Walmart CEO, Mike Duke, the Index is in response to a growing demand from customers for “products that are more efficient, that last longer, and perform better.”
While the Walmart effort is not targeting product energy-efficiency, per se, the idea that retailers (in this case, the world’s largest) are beginning to rate green products should be of interest to manufacturers and designers.
And Walmart isn’t the only one getting into the act. Online retailer Amazon.com has set up many “green” categories on its website (electronics, office supplies, toys) all of which can be found on their Amazon Green page. They even have a green blog of their own, The Green Life, where they review and promote eco-friendly products.
With the trend now in motion, it will be interesting to see how many other retailers follow suit, and particularly what such eco-friendly designations have to say about energy-using products. Also, what will the impact be on the government-run programs? Will the programs work in harmony or will products end up wearing multiple stamps of approval?