Wal-Mart bringing customers, suppliers into
Feb 04, 2007 09:23 PST
By Jayne O'Donnell, USA TODAY Wal-Mart (WMT) is not only pushing its
suppliers to reduce packaging and be more "ethical" about how they
process waste, but plans to involve its employees, customers and
communities in the sustainability effort, CEO Lee Scott told a London
conference sponsored by Britain's Prince Charles today. In an interview
with USA TODAY, Scott said the effort has been embraced by employees
and has helped Wal-Mart with retention and recruitment.
"Our young managers view our focus on sustainability as a higher
calling," he said.
As for suppliers, Wal-Mart has come up with a scorecard to grade their
environmental progress and will "pick the ones moving in the right
direction." Still, customers will ultimately decide which suppliers'
products are available with their purchase choices, he said.
Scott said the company will introduce "Global Innovation Projects,"
including a challenge for Wal-Mart associates and suppliers to come up
with ways to remove non-renewable energy from products the company
sells. Wal-Mart will push suppliers to "make products that rely less
and less on carbon-based energy," he said.
Scott said he's gotten strong support for this and other aspects of
Wal-Mart's sustainability plan from major suppliers, including
Unilever, PepsiCo (PEP) and Universal Music.
"In some cases, they've been ahead of us and in other cases waiting for
us to ask," Scott said in the interview. "But no one has pushed back to
(Blog writer's note: Wal-Mart is such a symbol of corporate greed to
many people that it will be interesting to see how their new found
environmental awareness will translate into the real world. Will part
of their conscience extend to health care and a living wage for the
workers in Asia and other places who make the products they sell? If
this turns out to be sincere and not just some PR maneuver I will be
happy to support their efforts.)
Posted By Mike Johnston to H2OPower at 2/04/2007 11:04:00 AM