- Walmart has created an online shopping destination called Built for Better to help customers find brands and products aligned with their healthy food, clean living or sustainability goals, Jane Ewing, Walmart's senior vice president of sustainability, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.
- Icons on the website and app will help shoppers find products that have met independent standards like EWG Verified, Energy Star Certified or Rainforest Alliance Certified. "[W]e know shopping with purpose often takes extra time. It requires researching products and reading labels, all of which can be overwhelming for our busy customers," Ewing wrote.
- The announcement is Walmart's latest step toward its sustainability goals, which include becoming a regenerative company, as retailers ramp up their climate-focused efforts.
Walmart is looking to make it easier for customers to shop for products aligned with their health, nutrition and climate-conscious values as the retail and grocery industries tackle sustainability targets.
Walmart has set goals of managing or restoring 50 million acres of land and 1 million square miles of ocean by 2030 and achieving zero emissions by 2040.
"We know 'live better' extends beyond saving money, healthy living and sustainability. With Built for Better, we've created a framework that can grow over time," Ewing wrote.
As of Sept. 21, shoppers now have two labels under Built for Better to help them find products. "Built for Better — For You" is focused on nutrition and products made without specific materials or ingredients, while "Built for Better — For the Planet" highlights products made in a way to reduce environmental impacts.
Walmart's methodology webpage on the labels notes that "For You" products must meet either Walmart's "Great for You" standard or independent standards that recognize products made without certain materials or ingredients, while "For the Planet" must meet independent standards that recognize one or more environmental benefits. Thirty-six certifications are listed, with Walmart noting that it plans to add more in the future.
Walmart has also tied "Built for Better" into its multi-channel marketing campaign encouraging people to "Live Better Tomorrow."
Competitor Amazon this summer expanded the products sold under its sustainable labeling program by adding four certifications from health, organic and animal welfare organizations. The e-tailer's "Climate Pledge Friendly" initiative now encompasses 30 sustainability certifications, including Amazon's Compact by Design certification. Meanwhile, Target has online and in-store "wellness icons," which include different identifiers for products that are clean, cruelty-free, dye-free, non-toxic and more.
Retailers' focus on labels comes at a time when shoppers are placing more emphasis on buying brands that align with their values. Fifty-seven percent of purpose-driven shoppers are willing to change their purchasing habits to help reduce negative environmental impact, according to a study released last year by IBM and the National Retail Federation.