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Move over government, Walmart's the new regulator in town

from Advertising Age

Manufacturers of everything from laptop computers to shampoo have been given some requests they dare not refuse: report their greenhouse gas emissions and establish targets for reducing them, invest in community-development activities where their plants are located, and participate in creating an index by which the consumers can judge how sustainable their products are. If they make food products, they're also required to reduce sodium 25 percent, sugar 10 percent and all vestiges of industrially produced trans-fatty acids by 100 percent by 2015. These may sound like government mandates, but they're actually not: they're from more than $400 billion Walmart stores, which also have become the biggest and most vigorous of a new breed of private-sector regulators. more

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