The Home Depot store chain is jumping on the green bandwagon, announcing an "Eco Options" labeling program that features products that offer benefits to sustainable forestry, energy efficiency, health, clean air or water efficiency. This New York Times story on the project says it will include "6,000 products by 2009, representing 12 percent of the chain's sales."
And it signals that Home Depot, the country's second-largest retailer, is joining the largest, Wal-Mart, in pursuing issues of public concern like climate change that stores have left to governments and environmental groups.Like Wal-Mart's packaging score card, Home Depot is looking at packaging as part of its green equation. There's a link on the company's Web site that gives some very sketchy guidelines for packaging, with bullet points like "We will strive to eliminate unnecessary packaging," and "We will recycle and encourage the use of materials and products with recycled content." This is a trend worth watching. When retailers make promises and environmental claims, they know that the public is paying attention. I don't think they're going to set any goals that they won't reach.