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Unformatted text preview: compliance deal work, Walmart accepted the additional risk and
committed to buying 30,000 units. The company’s first RoHS-compliant product sold extremely
well based on its quality and price. However, Walmart did not promote its environmentally
friendly characteristics. Cook explained: “There wasn’t a way that we felt comfortable
promoting it at that time, since RoHS compliance meant nothing to U.S. consumers. We also
had to take into account that RoHS standards are self-policing, so there’s a little risk from a PR
perspective. What if we went out and promoted it and found out that [the supplier] had missed
something? Because frankly, we were taking their word for it.” HP encountered trouble of this
nature when Greenpeace issued a September 2006 report indicating that it had conducted
independent testing and discovered Deca-BDE in HP laptops, even though HP claimed to have
phased out this hazardous substance several years earlier.35
Shortly after Walmart made its first purchase of RoHS-compliant computers, it started to ask
other computer manufacturers for RoHS-compliant products. Before long, many of them
informed Walmart that they were switching all of their U.S. customers to products meeting
RoHS standards. “There were efficiencies to be gained from purchasing all of the materials in
larger quantities, running one line instead of two, and reducing inventory. It ended up changing
the entire industry and the way other product is coming into the United States,” said Phillips.
“By July 2006, which was actually when the European mandate took effect, every computer that
we bought and every monitor that we acquired from every supplier was RoHS-compliant,” said Walmart’s Sustainability Strategy (A) OIT-71A p. 15 Cook, despite that fact that there was still no such mandate in the U.S. The network also had
started working on meeting RoHS standards for its TVs.
E-waste brought the network greater trial and error. Initially, the team tried to leverage return
centers within the stores to run rec...
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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