Walmart remains the company many love to hate for a lot of reasons, some sound, some irrational. But regular readers know we’ve been generally excited by the myriad changes that have come out of Bentonville in the last few years. With the help of visionaries like Adam Werbach, WalMart has evolved considerably from the days when pondering the nuances of slapping up a big box in a parking lot were about as deeply as Wal Mart considered things.
Though many challenges remain, Walmart has made an honest effort toward reducing waste and becoming a vastly more efficient operation. Not only that, but it has used its clout to force its suppliers and vendors to follow suit. Through the Personal Sustainability Projects program, Walmart has introduced every one of its employees to the basic principals of sustainability and seems to have genuinely affected many in a positive way.
Although financial savings is still the main driver behind most of Walmart’s efforts, there seems to have been a real awakening of consciousness at some levels in the company. How much exactly I’ll leave you to judge, but former CEO Lee Scott says, sustainability represents “the greatest opportunity for the next generation.” Personally, I’d say the current generation has a lot to gain from it too, but the recognition of sustainability as an opportunity makes me feel optimistic. Whoever can help people understand the world more deeply in a time of potential conflict and resource stress is doing something right.Click to continue reading »