The GOOD 100: Wal-Mart's Sustainability Push The GOOD 100: Wal-Mart's Sustainability Push
The GOOD 100: Wal-Mart's Sustainability Push
The Big Blue-green Monster: Wal-Mart is pushing us toward sustainability more than you could ever imagine.In 2005, Wal-Mart was a piñata that liberal critics loved to bash, owing to a litany of sins ranging from low wages to union busting to encouraging sprawl. So when Lee Scott, the CEO at the time, bounded onto the stage at Wal-Mart's headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, and announced that energy-efficiency would be "at the heart of the company," it seemed like another flaky corporate stunt designed to cool a public backlash. Five years later, it looks different: In Wal-Mart's own hyper-efficient, bulldozing fashion, it has become arguably the greatest force for green in corporate America."Wal-Mart can create a market by itself," says Kory Lundberg,who works on Wal-Mart's sustainability efforts. She's not exaggerating: With more than $400 billion in revenues, Wal-Mart accounts for more than 11 percent of U.S. retail sales (and the number's growing); the $200 billion it spent on merchandise in 2007 supported 3 million jobs. The company employs another 2.2 million people directly. When Wal-Mart talks, 60,000 suppliers listen.The company has given itself three environmental mandates: to use only renewable energy, to produce zero waste, and to sell sustainable products. Progress on these has been stunningly fast: Wal-Mart is now the largest private producer of solar power in the United States, with nearly 40 stores fitted with photovoltaic arrays, and it's working on a prototype store that will cut energy use by 25 to 30 percent; between 2005 and 2008, it increased its trucking efficiency by 38 percent, with plans to have it doubled by 2015; it's working toward making all of its appliances Energy Star-rated; yearly, it spends $500 million on energy-efficient technology; and it's now developing a scorecard to rate the sustainability of its suppliers.There are, of course, reasons to be skeptical, but they're not the reasons you'd suspect. Though its broader goals are still far off, Wal-Mart's commitment to energy-efficiency seems durable. The savings generated by going green make unimpeachable sense to its business, which has always been fanatical about cutting costs.But as Wal-Mart grows, can such a huge, networked operation that spans the globe ever be truly green? "The intriguing part is to see whether they'll stop with low-hanging fruit like local energy costs, or dig deeper into their supply chain," says Eric Fernald, the director of research at KLD, a firm that vets socially responsible investments. "Will their bigness cap how green they become?" That's a question not only for Wal-Mart, but for our entire economy. Its success is a test case for our own.Corrected: This article originally misattributed the quote in the second paragraph to an Edelman representative named Tristan Roy.
The Heartwarming Reason A Teacher Asked Her Wedding Guests Not To Buy Her Presents “I registered for tennis shoes and Converse and backpacks and winter coats."
Now That The Eclipse Is Over, You Can Put Those Glasses To Good Use For Others Don’t throw them away!
White Supremacists Aren't Thrilled With DNA Testing Results So they’re rewriting history to suit their needs.
The First Out LGBT Coach In The NFL Is A Woman The 49ers assistant coach continues to break down walls in the league.
The Internet Can’t Get Enough Of Trump Staring Directly At The Solar Eclipse “I have the greatest corneas of all time, really. The best.”
Watch Skateboarders Hit 70 MPH In Wild Downhill Race There’s a reason the Vermont course is nicknamed “The Beast.”
J.K. Rowling Roasts Trump For His Latest ‘Unbelievable’ Achievement SNL’s ‘Neil DeGrasse Tyson’ Will Celebrate The Eclipse In A Most Unusual Way Fox CEO Rips Trump’s Response To Charlottesville, Pledges $1MM To The Anti-Defamation League Red Sox Ask Boston To Change Street Named After Racist Former Owner An NFL Player Tested The League’s New Celebration Policy With Some Sweet Moves Not Everyone Is Happy With Tina Fey's Cake-Eating Bit Steve Bannon Removed From White House Chief Strategist Role Tim Cook, Critical Of Trump’s Response To Charlottesville, Pledges $2MM To Fight Hate From Charlottesville To Athens, People Around The World Mourn Heather Heyer Prospective Jurors At The Martin Shkreli Trial Just Couldn’t Contain Their Hate For The Pharma Bro Tampa Bay Sports Teams Pledge To Fund Removal Of Confederate Statue 80% Of America's Teachers Are White
The GOOD 100 Meet the remarkable individuals tackling pressing global issues today. The GOOD Guide to Recycling The objects we discard aren’t trash. They’re a resource. The Local Globalists Meet 17 innovators who are changing our future for the better. Project Literacy Building partnerships for a more literate future.