Walmart Sustainability

They decided to begin working with the largest 20 of

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Unformatted text preview: we had a little bit of an identity crisis as to what we should or could do,” said Rob Kusiciel, vice president of Walmart’s global services and captain of the network. After researching a broad range of environmental issues, Kusiciel and his team realized that Walmart needed to consolidate its supply base and develop a more collaborative, long-term, influential relationship with each supplier. They decided to begin working with the largest 20 of its 50,000 Chinese suppliers (as measured by annual sales volume to Walmart) to improve environmental performance. Kusiciel explained the approach: We’ve had diverse relationships with lots of factories over a relatively short term…. We’ve worked together one purchase order at a time or one season at a time, but year on year we may switch from one supplier to another… To obtain improvements on issues like environmental compliance has been difficult because our relevance to those particular companies is low. Our goal is to bring people into strong relationships and develop overall business partners that are able to deliver excellence in the ethical standards area, including environmental components, quality, and product safety. We will build a sustainable sourcing model with these 20 companies, and then take what we learn to other sectors. In addition, Walmart also intended to provide suppliers with valuable knowledge and process assistance through relationships with the NGOs in its networks. For example, when the Chinese government threatened to shut down a number of textile dye houses, including one of Walmart’s suppliers, to reduce pollution in Beijing in anticipation of the 2008 Olympics, Walmart immediately “put the dye house in touch with one of the NGOs in our network, which helped it formulate a more environmentally friendly process that reduced its toxic output very quickly.” recalled Kim Brandner, senior brand manager of sustainable textiles for Walmart. Although other retailers were negatively affected by the...
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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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