Wal-Mart will push suppliers to reduce packaging by 5 percent

In its latest effort to woo enviros (and, of course, save some dough), Wal-Mart has unveiled a five-year plan that it believes will reduce packaging on the products it sells by 5 percent. Speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting on Friday, Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott announced that his company will push its 60,000 suppliers to reduce the amount of packaging they use, and starting in 2008, it will grade the suppliers on their success. The plan is expected to save Wal-Mart $3.4 billion, as smaller packages are cheaper to transport and take up less shelf space, and could save almost $11 billion throughout the retailer’s supply chain. “A 2 percent reduction in a package’s size is worth millions and millions of dollars,” said Matt Kistler, Wal-Mart’s vice president of product and packaging innovation. Now that’s the sort of shrinkage a guy can feel good about.