Green companies – Walmart

Walmart, the elephant in the room, was ranked as the Fortune 1 company for the fiscal year 2010 with sales of $405 billion. It has more than 8600 stores and retail outlets operating under 55 different banners in 15 countries, employing more than 2 million associates worldwide.  A leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity, Walmart has a huge footprint across US and through out the world.

Though many have an unfavorable impression of Walmart due to its employee related issues, the company’s push to sustainability along with its 100,000 supplier’s world over has certainly flipped that view.

Walmart is now the poster child for sustainability, simply because the impact that it is generating by going green is having a massive ripple effect in the entire industry, especially, in the greening of its supply chain. It is fundamentally shaping new categories and redefining how and what they sell. Walmart uses an approach called Sustainability 360 that takes a comprehensive view of its business.

The company is working towards 3 main goals in areas of Energy, Waste and Products.

The three Bold Audacious Hairy Goals (BHAG’s)

And the way it is going about achieving these BHAG’s is through:

  •   Sustainability Green Index: Understanding that 80% of the carbon footprint for a retailer like Walmart comes from upstream and downstream suppliers, which has led to development of Green Index scorecard and the carbon disclosure project that tracks and measures its humungous supplier base.
  • Sustainable buildings & Renewable energy: Powering its stores to run on solar and wind energy. Replacing its lighting to the much less energy consuming LED’s.
  • Working with critics and opening its doors to its enemies: Walmart has developed  14 different networks – like network of lumbar, network of fish, network on China etc., which includes NGO’s, governmental agencies and other stakeholders in a bottom-up fashion to better initiate sustainability strategies.
  • Making sustainability sustainable in the business: Objective is to make Sustainability not as an add-on but something that lives in the everyday working of the business. This has resulted in Personal Sustainability Projects (PSP’s) for its employees like cycling or walking to work, exercise or planting a tree.

Walmart’s carbon footprint is still growing, but at a much slower rate than before – and it’s all transparent.

Being the number one company on the Fortune list calls for nothing less than perfection in all areas. Big players have immense influence and it becomes a moral responsibility for those players to lead the path along the whole value chain. Hurricane Katrina spurred Walmart on the Sustainability path. We don’t need another one to make other companies realize their shortcomings.

Other Green Companies:

1. Sony _Road to Zero

2. Seventh Generation & Corporate Responsibility 2.0

3. SC Johnson – Industry defining Sustainable practices

4. Green companies – II-Patagonia

 Walmart’s 2010 Sustainability Report @ http://walmartstores.com/sites/sustainabilityreport/2010/

Advertisements

Comments

  1. Are you serious? This is the biggest company in the world. Unfortunately they are the last people to put green before profit. It’s merely costly green marketing sprinkled with various acronymns and pretty pictures to alleviate public pressure.

  2. Hi…thanks for the comment.It does come as a surprise that of all companies Walmart is leading the field.Incidentally, Walmart is doing things or rather forcing sustainable practices down its suppliers – the possible epiphany came to them when they realized that it’s a great business opportunity to save and make more money – it does make good business sense.

Trackbacks

  1. […] the future and worry about the looming water shortage which is intrinsic to their product. Or when Walmart looks ahead and see the depleting fish reserves in the ocean or when Ikea, wonders where they are […]

Comments (moderated)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.