PREVIOUS POSTWhen WalMart speaks, the world listens... Andrew Winston reports on WalMart's recent Sustainability Summit in China, when they laid down their new 'sustainable supply' requirements in no uncertain terms. This is a company with serious buying power that knows their customers are expecting nothing less. How often do we use our buying power to insist that suppliers truly 'do the right thing'? For starters, we can ask a lot more questions, and use the HACCP supplier-audit process with more vigour. The answers could be interesting! He summarises the WalMart demands: Supplier commitments: All suppliers will sign new agreements indicating compliance with environmental laws. Audits: Wal-Mart will "strengthen" its surprise and third-party audit program Supplier goals: The top 200 suppliers will achieve 20% energy efficiency improvement, and most importantly, "By 2012, all suppliers that we buy from directly should source 95% of product from companies that have the highest ratings in audits." Product goals and quality: Zero defective merchandise returns by 2012. Transparency: Suppliers must reveal the name and location of every factory they use to make a product. Dropping suppliers: Wal-Mart will work with suppliers that fail to comply, but "if after a period of time, the supplier does not improve, we will move our business."