Earlier this week, in partnership with CSRWire, we hosted a twitter chat with Walmart’s Brooke Buchanan – Director, Communications & Sustainability at Walmart. If you were unable to join us live, the following is a synopsis of both the initial Q&A between our moderator team and Walmart.
The chat began with some structured questions for WalMart from CSRWire’s Aman Singh, followed by another several question from Nick Aster. We then spent some time relaying the various audience questions that came through. At the end of this column are a few questions that we didn’t have time to address that we hope Walmart will have time to answer later on!
Stakeholder Twitter Chat With Walmart
Today’s chat was led by Brooke Buchanan, Director, Communications & Sustainability at Walmart, along with other Walmart associates. CSRwire’s Editorial Director, Aman Singh, and TriplePundit’s Nick Aster facilitated the chat.
Storified by TriplePundit.com · Thu, Nov 15 2012 16:27:26
To understand the lingo a bit. We used “Q” to indicate a question and “A” to indicate an answer, so when @walmartgreen says “A4″ it’s an answer to question 4.
Q1: Tell us where #Walmart is today in 2012 with the ambitious #Sustainability plan #wmtcsrAman Singh
First, thank you @triplepundit and @CSRwire for hosting today’s chat! #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
A1b Walmart has made great progress on our 3 aspirational goals, including achieving 80% zero waste. Learn more http://walmarturl.com/TWqujt #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
Q2: What have some of the major roadblocks since having launched the initiative? a) Let’s start with the internal challenges. #wmtcsrAman Singh
A2 #Sustainability is integrated throughout our business. #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
Q2 b) What have been some of the major roadblocks since launching the initiative externally? #sustainability #wmtcsrAman Singh
A2b. When we find a solution that works once, scaling across our global biz is an oppty but also a challenge. #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
Q3: Which sector has responded most favorably 2 the #Sustainability Index & the resulting measurements & improvements? @Walmartgreen #wmtcsrAman Singh
A3a. It’s a truly collaborative effort. Great support from suppliers across multiple product categories and other retailers. #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
A3b. @tsc_news is leading the effort to determine the criteria for more sustainable products http://walmarturl.com/ZxmIhT #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
A3c. Real leadership from many categories – beer and wine, computers, cereals and others. Amazing! #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
Q4: What have been some pain points within your #SupplyChain – vast by any measure – re: #sustainable #business practices? #wmtcsrAman Singh
A4a. I was in China & we announced that by 2017 70% of goods sold in the US will be sourced using the Index. http://walmarturl.com/TWsY1i #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
A4b. Consistent communication of sustainability through the supply chain is a challenge. #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
A4c. Organizations like @TSC_news are standardizing and streamlining supply chain information sharing across retailers and suppliers.Walmart Green Room
A4d. Getting us to action faster to drive progress, and allowing that progress to get recognized by product buyers. #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
Q5: With millions of products being sold through #Walmart, what commitments has Walmart made to push #sustainable #packaging? #wmtcsrAman Singh
A5. Our goal at #Walmart is to reduce our packaging by 5% by 2013 (using a 2008 baseline) http://walmarturl.com/TWtpc7 #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
Q6. What other sustainability commitments have emerged as priorities for Walmart for the next five years? #WMTcsrNick Aster
A6a. Driving supply chain #innovation is huge. We will eliminate 20MMT of #GHG from our global supply chain by 2015. #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
A6b. Suppliers can show #sustainability leadership and help at http://walmarturl.com/ZxqSGy #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
A6c Also, renewable energy. We already have 170+ solar installations worldwide & a goal to have 1,000 by 2020. #WMTcsr http://walmarturl.com/TWtY5wWalmart Green Room
A6d. #Walmart is the largest #green power purchaser in the US. #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
A6e. We’re also piloting on-site industrial wind turbines, fuel cells and energy efficiency. http://walmarturl.com/ZxrX0W #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
Q7. Does Walmart’s land use pattern – an integral part of your business model – get measured in your environmental assessment? #wmtcsrNick Aster
A7. In 2005 #Walmart developed #Acres4America in partnership with #NFWF and have saved 680,000+ acres so far. #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
Q8. Can you tell us more about your Sustainability Hub? Who is it targeted to and why would one visit it?TriplePundit.com
A8. The hub is 4 Walmart suppliers, associates & partners 2 learn, connect & collaborate on #GHG #innovation http://walmarturl.com/ZxtwMs #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
Here we moved on to as many of the audienct questions as we could. The questions were re-tweeted by the moderators and are as follows.
RT @AmanSinghCSR: Q9: Does Walmart refer suppliers 2 enviro friendly packaging vendors? How do u decide preferability,authenticity? #WMTcsrCSRwire
A9. @WalmartGreen is focused on packaging reduction, improving recycled-content, and #renewable materials. #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
RT @AmanSinghCSR: Q10: What is #Walmart doing with all the #information collected via its #supplier #sustainability scorecards? #WMTcsrCSRwire
A10a. Index scorecard data is being used by buyers in business planning and to drive #innovation. #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
A10b. Buyers will have #sustainability objectives in their evaluations next year. #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
A10c. Suppliers will be recognized for leadership internally and externally. #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
Q11: You said earlier that #Walmart is aiming for a 80% reduction in #waste? How is that possible? [audience ques.] #sustainability #wmtcsrTriplePundit.com
A11. This number refers to waste diverted from landfills. See more info: http://walmarturl.com/TWvhBm #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
Q12: Do #employees "get it" when it comes 2 #sustainability? To what extent is #susty driven from the inside? #wmtcsrAman Singh
A12. Our associates are key to driving #sustainability @WalmartGreen. Convo here is not "if", but "how" do we all contribute. #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
Q 13: Scaling #Sustainability is massive issue in big company. What’s the key? [audience ques.] #OD #wmtcsrAman Singh
A13. Biz integration of #sustainability – where biz model and #sustainability are aligned. #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
Q14: Is external pressure 4 #susty more positive or negative? Are customers asking 4 it or 4 cheap prices first? [audience Q] #wmtcsrNick Aster
A14a. Our customers care about #sustainability and we know they expect us to care, too. #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
A14b. Our customers shouldn’t have to choose between products they love / can afford and #green products. #WMTcsrWalmart Green Room
And finally, some lingering questions not yet addressed. Perhaps we’ll see a green room post or two?
Obvious question: how? RT @WalmartGreen #Sustainability is integrated throughout our business #WMTcsrAbbie Curtis
#WMTcsr With the logistics portion of Walmart’s supply chain, what are key #sustainable measures for transportation providers/suppliers?Coyote Logistics
Example? MT @WalmartGreen: A2b. When we find a solution that works once, scaling across global biz is an oppty but also a challenge. #WMTcsrRita Soni
Q7. Walmart’s land use pattern = sprawl. Target has gone urban in SF. Will WalMart? #wmtcsrInderdon Company
A5. Reduce our packaging by 5% by 2013 is great… but what beyond that?http://bit.ly/SR620g #WMTcsrCSR Dispatch
@WalmartGreen Can you talk about your employee engagement initiatives? #wmtcsrTravis Noland
@WalmartGreen any susty messaging planned for #blackfriday? #WMTcsrJennifer Boynton
Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of TriplePundit.com
TriplePundit.com has since grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.
Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for TreeHugger.com, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.
Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.