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potential for corruption is still there.” The audit process also required excessive time and effort
from suppliers that worked with multiple retailers. “Some factories may go through 50 audits in a
year,” said Kamalanathan, “which really doesn’t make sense.” The ethical standards group was
seeking to collaborate with other retailers and brands in the auditing process to reduce the burden
on suppliers while maintaining a high standard of conduct. “If we can relieve the auditing
burden, our hope is that companies will spend more time working with different stakeholders to
actually fix the problems that are identified,” said Kamalanathan.
Walmart’s compliance audits had primarily focused on health and safety issues. However, the
compliance team intended to start measuring suppliers against four Walmart-defined
environmental metrics (water treatment, waste management, banned chemicals, and air
emissions) in 2007.
A closer examination of three of Walmart’s sustainable value networksseafood, electronics,
and textilesdemonstrates how the sustainability strategy was being operationalized.
According to an international study released in 2006, all species of wild seafood were greatly
depleted and predicted to collapse within 50 years.24 Furthermore, fishing was an inefficient
industry in terms of its fuel use and, as many scientists argued, was only getting more inefficient
as boats were forced to venture further out in search of declining wild fish stocks. In 2000,
fisheries around the world burned roughly 13 billion gallons of fuel to catch 80 million tons of
fish, accounting for approximately 1.2 percent of global oil consumption.25 Walmart’s Sustainability Strategy (A) OIT-71A p. 9 As wild fish stocks declined, an increasing percentage of the seafood supply was farm-raised.26
Yet some studies had shown that farm-raised fish provided lesser health benefits in terms of
nutrients, as well as increased health risks in the form of harmful chemicals and antibiotics used
to fight disease in fish farming...
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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