Greening of Wal-mart

Greening of Wal-mart - Case Study The Greening of Wal-Mart...

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Unformatted text preview: Case Study The Greening of Wal-Mart For much of its history, Wal-Marts corporate management team toiled inside its Bentonville Bubble, narrowly focused on operational efficiency, growth, and profits. But now the world's largest retailer has widened its sights, building networks of employees, nonprofits, government agencies, and suppliers to green its supply chains. Here's how and why the worlds largest retailer is using a network approach to decrease its environmental footprint and to increase its profitability. By Erica L. Plambeck and Lyn Denend Stanford Social Innovation Review Spring 2008 Copyright 2007 by Leland Stanford Jr. University All Rights Reserved Stanford Social Innovation Review 518 Memorial Way, Stanford, CA 94305-5015 Ph: 650-725-5399. Fax: 650-723-0516 Email: info@ ss i re v i ew. c om, w ww.ssir e v i e w .com the greening of CASE STUDY WAL MART For much of its history, Wal-Marts corporate management team toiled inside its Bentonville Bubble, narrowly focused on operational efficiency, growth, and profits. But now the worlds largest retailer has widened its sights, building networks of employees, nonprofits, government agencies, and suppliers to green its supply chains. Heres how and why the worlds largest retailer is using a network approach to decrease its environmental footprint and to increase its profitability. b y ERI CA L . PL AMBEC K & L Y N DENEN D In 1989, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. launched one of the first major retail campaigns to sell environmentally safe products in recyclable or biodegradable packaging. The corporation promoted these eco- friendly products by labeling them with green-colored shelf tags. Although the company boasted more than 300 green products at its peak, it did not directly set or monitor the environmental standards of its suppliers. This resulted in negative publicity for Wal-Mart when the public learned that a green-labeled brand of paper towels had only a recycled tube the towels themselves were unrecycled paper treated with chlorine bleach. The green tag program began to wane, and by the mid-1990s environmental issues seemed to have slipped off the com- panys list of priorities. Meanwhile, Wal-Marts reputation among consumers was also slipping. Issues surrounding its competitive prac- tices and labor policies loomed large in the public eye. The companys envi- ronmental record was nothing to boast about, either, according to one Fortune Why is Wal-Mart adopting eco- friendly processes and products? How does Wal-Marts network approach help it go green without sacrificing profits or increasing costs? How does Wal-Mart build networks with formerly distant, even adversarial stakeholders?...
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Greening of Wal-mart - Case Study The Greening of Wal-Mart...

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