domingo, 18 de marzo de 2007

Wal Mart and Sustainability 360: Greenwashing or true change?

Wal-Mart’s CEO launched “Sustainability 360,” an initiative that involves working with suppliers to reduce packaging by 5% by 2013 – an effort that will be equal to removing 213,000 trucks from the road, and saving approximately 324,000 tons of coal and 67 million gallons of diesel fuel per year.
Wal-Mart's six path strategy focuses on its own environmental footprint and that of its 60,000 suppliers. It has big ambitions to cut the waste sent to landfill, build more energy efficient stores and take "a hard look at what is on our shelves".
The question is: are these thousands of suppliers genuinely trying to understand what sustainability really is? Or are they only changing their practice just enough so as to maintain Wal Mart as a client?
If Wal Mart is strict enough in its policy, and keeps setting higher sustainability standards, does it really matter if suppliers only go after Wal Mart business or if they truly embrace the sustainability phylosophy?
I believe one leads to the other, many companies like Patagonia,
Interface, Natura, American Apparel have found the benefits of sustainable Business practices. Currently, Wal Mart and its suppliers are on the way to discovering this.

Paul Hawken, The author of the Ecology of Commerce, defined in a recent interview that "Sustainability comes when the light bulb goes on and you start to see that we are all involved, that everything is interconnected that your actions affect others", and when we do see this, you longer ask, or discuss, if it is right or wrong, you look for a solution.

100 million customers visit Wal Mart every week, many light bulbs should go on in their stores.

Yvon Chouinard lists Patagonia's values, and with them five steps to action> They are I believe, the five best actions to reach sustainability.

Chouinard's five steps.
read the whole essay

STEP 1: Lead an examined life. Most of the environmental damage human’s cause is a result of ignorance.
STEP 2: Clean up your act. Once you learn the environmental costs, try to reduce them. And when you can reduce them, you must.
STEP 3: Do your penance. No matter how diligent a corporation, it causes waste and pollution.
STEP 4: Support civil democracy. It’s obvious that governments and corporations hold a lot of power, but so do small groups of people who care passionately about an issue and press their cause.

STEP 5: Influence other companies. If you undertake the other steps, this one is a natural. The company that discovers new ways to be more environmentally responsible has an obligation to spread the word to others – to share the knowledge of what can be done.

At this moment Wal Mart is leading the influence movement on other companies,
60,000 of them!.

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