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Unformatted text preview: time.38 As stated in a Fortune article, this was “an early sign that Walmart's working-class and
middle-income customers would be willing to buy ‘green’ products, so long as they were
affordable.”39 In addition to pursuing organic products through its textiles network, Walmart
also began exploring organic food products through the food and agriculture network (see
Conventional cotton crops received more than 25 percent of all chemical insecticides used and
more than 10 percent of chemical pesticides in agriculture. Of these chemicals, many of which
had been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, and nervous system damage, researchers
estimated that as little as .1 percent reached the targeted pests, while 99.9 percent were dispersed
into the soil, water, and air.40 Walmart’s Sustainability Strategy (A) OIT-71A p. 17 To address challenges such as these, the network developed a strategic plan that included a 5 and
10-year outlook for Walmart’s textiles business. “We have a long-range vision of where we
want to go,” said Brandner. “That gives us the framework for everything we do. All of our subprojectsour quick wins, innovation projects, and game changerhave to feed into this master
plan or else they’re not going to get done.” (Refer to Exhibit 6 for an overview of the subprojects defined in textiles.)
The organic cotton innovation project quickly became the network’s top priority. An in-depth
life-cycle analysis of the cotton supply chain confirmed that the environmental impacts of cotton
were felt across three different stages of the supply chain: farm, factory, and post-production.
According to Rebecca Calahan Klein, president of the Organic Exchange, a nonprofit
organization focused on increasing the use of sustainable agricultural practices, roughly 20
percent of the environmental impacts in the cotton life cycle came from the growing process and
were driven by direct and embedded energy use, toxicity (the volume of chemicals used as well
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This note was uploaded on 01/14/2014 for the course LGST 210 taught by Professor Sep during the Winter '10 term at UPenn.
- Winter '10