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TSC's 2017 Sustainability Index Reveals Top Categories

Apples, pears, diapers among most eco-friendly products
Photograph: Shutterstock

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) has revealed the product categories that scored the highest on the 2017 Sustainability Index, which is used primarily by Walmart and Sam's Club and its suppliers to improve and integrate the sustainability of products while also reducing costs and improving quality to create a more eco-friendly supply chain.

According to the Transparent Supply Chains for Better Business report, on a 100-point scale, the six highest-ranking categories were apples and pears; computers; diapers; stone fruit; hair coloring products; and cucumbers, melons and squash.

These six categories scored 60 points or higher on the TSC index, which indicates that supply chain transparency is growing among consumer goods suppliers.

"Many of these product categories already have systems in place in their supply chains to communicate operational data, but only recently have they been asked to share sustainability-related data," said Euan Murray, TSC's chief executive, adding that TSC is "pleased to see so many different product categories score so well and to see progress toward more transparent supply chains." 

Additionally, honorable mentions scoring 55 to 59 on the scale were berries and grapes, lettuce and leaf vegetables, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. 

Because specialty crops usually have shorter supply chains than more complex food products, "traceability may be more likely to be achieved," said TSC Chief Scientist Kevin Dooley.

The research was based on TSC surveys covering 120 product categories representing more than 80% of the sustainability impacts of all of consumer goods.

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