Walmart Sustainability

Another issue requiring cross sub team collaboration

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Unformatted text preview: y and the potential implications and opportunities related to sustainability (underway internally, but just getting started in late 2006 relative to external customers). Sub-teams of eight or nine network members were designated to support each initiative. The teams also worked collaboratively since many projects were interconnected and shared common goals. For example, the electronics network collaborated on developing product questionnaires for buyers to use with suppliers. The purpose of these was to help buyers begin asking more questions about the environmental impacts of the products Walmart was purchasing (see Exhibit 7 for a sample). Another issue requiring cross sub-team collaboration was related to hazardous substances, such as lead, cadmium, and mercury, contained in many electronics. Computers and other electronics accounted for as much as 40 percent of the lead in U.S. landfills,32 even though 80 percent of the e-waste collected for recycling was being exported to developing countries where the toxic components led to pollution levels that were hundreds of thousands of times higher than those allowed in developed countries,33 as well as tragic, large-scale human health effects. While the e-waste team was working to dispose safely of lead and other hazardous substances in electronics, the materials innovation group was seeking ways to get them removed from computers in the first place. Materials Innovation Project: Buying RoHs Compliant Computers One of the first quick wins in the electronics network was related to the issue of eliminating hazardous chemicals from production. Alex Cook, an electronics buyer and member of the sustainability network, was making a standard visit to a computer supplier in China in March 2005 when he noticed that the company was running two manufacturing lines for the same product. Inquiring about the reason, he was told that one line made traditional computers for the U.S. while the other made RoHS-compliant computers for customers in Europe. RoHS (Restriction on Hazardous Substances) was a directive by the European Parliament to restrict...
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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.

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