Walmart Sustainability

This saved time and money and reduced the

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Unformatted text preview: a more in-depth understanding of customer needs and behaviors. Sourcing spets were meant to develop and nurture the longer-term relationships with suppliers that were necessary to support activities such as the organic cotton project and other sustainability initiatives. According to Brandner, as a result of this organizational change as well as the company’s focus on the environment, “We’re asking better questions, and it’s helping us become smarter merchants.” Progress as of Late 2006 The textiles network appeared to be making progress against its quick wins and innovation projects, and improving supply chain efficiency. For example, Brandner recalled “We used to buy cotton from Turkey, ship it to China for spinning and knitting, and then ship it again to Guatemala to be cut and sewn. Now, by looking deeper into the supply chain, we’re finding opportunities to do things like eliminate the shipment to China and have all processing done in Guatemala.” This saved time and money, and reduced the environmental impacts associated with transportation. However, the game changer projectto reduce the environmental impacts of textile manufacturinghad only just begun. According to Calahan Klein, to realize the full potential Walmart’s Sustainability Strategy (A) OIT-71A p. 20 for reducing environmental impacts, the industry would need to invest in new, disruptive technologies that would dramatically alter the textile manufacturing process. Innovative startups, such as Aura Herbal Wear in India, were pioneering new processes with the potential to drive this type of game-changing progress, but had not reached the scale necessary to supply Walmart and, as a result, were not on the company’s radar screen. Furthermore, while innovations such as the Aura process eliminated more than 8,000 chemicals used in traditional textiles manufacturing, replacing them with natural herbs at a competitive cost and quality, Walmart’s large suppliers had limited incentives to experim...
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