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Merchandising: Our Principles & Products

Costco is committed to providing our members with high-quality goods at the lowest possible price in a way that is respectful to the environment and to the people and the animals that produce these goods. In sourcing goods, we are asking our suppliers six foundational questions:
  • Can you map your supply chain?
  • How are the people cared for?
  • How are the animals cared for?
  • How is the environment cared for?
  • Is the best possible packaging being used?
  • What are your emissions and your plans to reduce them?
This section explains how those key questions inform our sourcing policies at Costco.

Human Rights

The nature of our business is such that our operations, logistics and merchandise supply chains impact countless people around the globe. Recognizing this impact, the opportunity it presents to play a positive role wherever we do business, and the influence we hold through our purchasing choices, we have adopted policies and procedures to protect human rights.

Animal Welfare

Our policies call for respecting the welfare and conducting the proper handling of all animals used in the production of the products we sell. These policies have been developed with collaboration of leading animal welfare experts and our suppliers.

Environmental Impacts & Land Stewardship

Our goal is to source products in a way that is respectful to the environment and to the people associated with that environment.

Chemical Management

These are the steps we take, in collaboration with our suppliers, to reduce or remove harmful chemicals in our products.


Acknowledging the complexity and urgency of this issue, we are working with our suppliers and other organizations to come up with smart solutions. Read about our "Six Rights of Packaging Sustainability" in this section, which center on reducing the amount of packaging overall; using recycled content and certified fiber in our packaging; creating packaging that is recyclable or compostable; and improving labeling to help our members properly dispose of packaging.

Kirkland Signature

Kirkland Signature is our exclusive line of private-label products, representing high quality at a great value. With these products, we’re able to have better control over the entire supply chain, which helps us ensure long-term quality and supply — key attributes of our sustainability goals.


A significant part of Costco’s carbon footprint lies within our supply chains, which support our business and merchandising practices. We are committed to doing our part to help reduce our carbon footprint in these supply chains.

Commodities & More

To learn more about our detailed approach on specific product categories, please click on the links below: