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Wal-Mart To Clean Their Impact On the Environment

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posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 05:02 PM

The $312.4 billion retailing giant has launched an aggressive program to encourage "sustainability" of the world's fisheries, forests and farmlands, to slash energy use and reduce waste, to push its 60,000 suppliers to produce goods that don't harm the environment, and to urge consumers to buy green. Last Monday, for the first time, Wal-Mart reported on its carbon dioxide emissions -- the "greenhouse gases" that cause global warming. It said it emits 20.8 million tons worldwide, an amount greater than what's released by an auto company but much less than that released by a major utility company.

"We asked ourselves: If we had known 10 years ago what challenges we would face today, what would we have done different?" says CEO Lee Scott. "What struck us was: This world is much more fragile than any of us would have thought years ago."

Already, Wal-Mart has become the world's largest buyer of organic cotton. It introduced "fair trade" coffee at its Sam's Clubs. It began selling some organic foods in the spring and will introduce others this fall. And it is pushing suppliers to use smaller packages to cut waste.

"Wal-Mart is a huge player, and they have enormous clout," says Scott Burns of the World Wildlife Fund, which has 10 employees working with Wal-Mart on several projects, including sustainability of fisheries. "They're sending a very powerful signal that already is having effects on the way people produce products for them."

Wal-Mart says it will:

*Slash gasoline use by its trucking fleet, one of the largest in the USA, and use more hybrid trucks to increase efficiency by 25% over the next three years and double it within 10 years. That will save $310 million a year by 2015, the company says.

*Buy 100% of its wild-caught salmon and frozen fish for the North American market only from fisheries that are certified as "sustainable" by the non-profit Marine Stewardship Council within three to five years. That designation means areas of the ocean aren't fished in ways that destroy fish populations.

*Cut energy use at its more than 7,000 stores worldwide by 30% and cut greenhouse-gas emissions at existing stores by 20% in seven years. Wal-Mart is the largest private electricity user in the USA.

*Reduce solid waste from U.S. stores by 25% within three years.

The company, second-largest in revenue in the world behind ExxonMobil, has vowed to invest $500 million a year in energy-saving technologies.

For years critics have been bashing Wal-Mart on their effects on the world's environment. Wal-Mart is now taking this feedback and responding to it with much anticipation. As an employee I can tell you the store I work in will begin efforts here in our community to inform our customers and offer recycling to associates and customers alike.

I only hope that every company can follow suit. I am already an avid enviro-citizen, and this news only made me that much more excited. In fact at a recent store meeting the store manager said my name was the first that popped into his head when he wanted a leader for our store's sustainability efforts. I hope that our wfforts will have a much positive effect and acceptance for our community.

posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 05:43 PM
Meh, they're not doing it out of civic responsibility or even guilt. They are doing it to save money, which is what we've been telling these bix box stores for a decade now. Going Green to save money is a new trend in business(especially real-estate developers who build skyscrapers and apartment buildings). Wal-Mart wants to build on a good portion of its stores, Green Rooves, which will increase insulation, provide a greenspace for employees(and maybe even customers), and increase the lifespan of the roof itself. It's a no-brainer that this will save them money in the long run.

posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 09:24 PM
Now, we must convince the thousands of other retailers worldwide they should do the same, as well as any business in any industry. Or should we just begin voting the stuff into law?

posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 09:28 PM
Why they don't use that money to provide health care to all its employees. I think that behind the gesture is an agenda.

For a company with so much problems with their own employees and their benefits this amount of money seems kind of outrageous.

[edit on 30-9-2006 by marg6043]

posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 09:39 PM
Well for whatever reason they'e doing it, good for them.

I honestly think it's a mix ofactually caring and realising they can
save alot of money, but that's just my humble opinion.

posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 11:01 PM

Originally posted by DYepes
Now, we must convince the thousands of other retailers worldwide they should do the same, as well as any business in any industry. Or should we just begin voting the stuff into law?

Walmart is a public company right? After 5 years of public quaterly reports, the decision will become academic for any company trying to emulate Wal-Mart.

I'm actually quite excited, I didn't mean to give the impression that I was skeptical about the move, I just think that the profit and savings matra at Wal-Mart is primarily responsible for this move. :clap:

I also applaud their move into Organic Foods. :clap:

BUT I am still highly critical of their plan to get into the Pharmacy business as the quality of service is more important then the lowest prices in that area(I know from personally experience btw all the bix box stores in Canada have pharmacies and they are all staffed bt "Just Off the Boat ESL students." .............

[edit on 30-9-2006 by sardion2000]

posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 11:01 PM
I agree with sardion in the fact that walmart is saving money. Period.

Walmart has made a name for itself in America as well as up here in Canada.

Let me tell you from experience about a close friend of mine who worked in walmart.

She told me to tell everyone these things:

* Yes, walmart has low prices (they undercut everyone in the retail business; thus forcing the small fish out of buisness and mononpolizing a district)
* Up here in Ontario, walmart is soooooooooo cheap when it comes to saving money that when summer roles around (night-times) and the bosses have to 'watch the hydro', (ahem) the bosses will turn off the air-conditioning and turn off 1/2 the lights. I kid you NOT!
People were bumping into each other because of the fact of not having ample light.
HMMPH.. talk about saving a few cents.'s not what you're thinking...(sweat shops in Canada?)

I've gone to walmart...just like alot of people, and saved money on items, however, I never actually knew what was going on with night-time employees - until I talked with my friend.

Getting back to what we were talking about...and all the grandiose things that walmart does for enviroment et al, it makes one wonder just HOW a big corporation is able to put forward monies to help others?

Listen...take what I say to be a grain of salt...I'm sure you all have other stories surrounding this issue.

posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 11:26 PM

I honestly think it's a mix ofactually caring and realising they can

You're talking about a company that will close a store just to stop a certain section(the meatcutters in Quebec) from Unionizing.

You're talking about a company that attempts to force small towns to accept a Wal-Mart store against the majority of the citizens wishes.

They are White-Collar Business people through and through. The PR value of this move is priceless to them in the long run(and they will prove it to all the other companies and they may in the end just start a paradigm shift in the Retail sector)

* Yes, walmart has low prices (they undercut everyone in the retail business; thus forcing the small fish out of buisness and mononpolizing a district)

Well in Toronto, we have lots of Wal-Marts and they have not had such a huge impact on the competitiveness. Why? Because Lawblaws & Shoppers Drugmart already pushed out all the smaller guys in the mid-90s.

[edit on 30-9-2006 by sardion2000]

[edit on 30-9-2006 by sardion2000]

posted on Oct, 1 2006 @ 12:18 AM
Ok, I should have worded that different.

I think some people in the higher echelons care, and they are part of
the reason there moving towards being more green, not neccesarily
every one of the corporate higher-ups care, but some do.

posted on Oct, 1 2006 @ 12:24 AM
For those who have made comments about the "money" motivation...

What's wrong with making money AND being green- even if the one is motivated by the other?

[edit on 1-10-2006 by loam]

posted on Oct, 1 2006 @ 12:28 AM
Nothing is wrong with it. I applaud the action, I don't applaud their motivation(I am ambivilant towards it). That is all I meant.

If Wal-Mart would have donated their profits Branson-style, then they would have found a new fanboi in me.

[edit on 1-10-2006 by sardion2000]

posted on Oct, 1 2006 @ 12:29 AM

Originally posted by sardion2000
If Wal-Mart would have donated their profits Branson-style, then they would have found a new fanboi in me.

Point well made.

posted on Oct, 1 2006 @ 10:50 AM
Duckster, I do not know what goes in in Wal-Mart Canada, but as far as I know any action that happens in any store is a direct result of the way the individual store manager handles their particular store. I assure you Wal-Mart in no way condones making the "nigth crew" suffer. They are probably the most valuable staff to our company. there is an open door policy that ANY associate in ANY position has the opportunity to carry their grievencaes to the next step in the management ladder, up to and including a a CEO if it has to get to that (never does). This policy is pretty much reminded to every associate and is part of our CBL program (computer based learning).

If do not know why she would not have taken advantage of that, or whether she even tried. I will guarantee you however that she did in fact know. There are friggin bulletins, signs and posters plastered in the any lounge area, personell office, managers office, backroom area, and the hallways by the offices.

Complaints in my district are handled rather quickly by most of the store managers here. A single irresponsible store manager will tiant the name of a whole company, especially as one as big as ours.

As far as the health care benefits, guess what most of our associates are not complaining. the majority find them to be very fair and balanced. There are of course those of us who do not even have it sheerly because their belief in insurance is that it is a legal extortion racket.

whatever the reason for doing this, you cannot deny that it is a good thing. The President of one of the enviro-groups that always criticized Wal-Mart left them because they wree not even doing anything to solve the issues or practicing what they demanded themselves. He is now helping the company with our sustainability effort.

posted on Oct, 1 2006 @ 05:03 PM

He is now helping the company with our sustainability effort.

Nice! I like pragmatic greens.

posted on Oct, 17 2006 @ 10:30 PM
I wonder if the Insurance Industry had anything to do with Wal-Mart's shift towards sustainability?

New combatant against global warming: the insurance industry

There is also this as well, though the insurance industry probably had nothing to do with Googles decision to go green.

Massive solar array to power the Googleplex

[edit on 17-10-2006 by sardion2000]

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