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Walmart Sustainability

Walmart Sustainability - CASE OIT-71 DATE(REV WALMARTS...

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C ASE : OIT-71 D ATE : 04/17/07 (R EV . 12/06/10) Lyn Denend prepared this case under the supervision of Professor Erica Plambeck as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of an administrative situation. It was updated in 2010 Copyright © 2007 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University. All rights reserved. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, e-mail the Case Writing Office at: [email protected] or write: Case Writing Office, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 518 Memorial Way, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5015. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, used in a spreadsheet, or transmitted in any form or by any means –– electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise –– without the permission of the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Every effort has been made to respect copyright and to contact copyright holders as appropriate. If you are a copyright holder and have concerns about any material appearing in this case study, please contact the Case Writing Office at [email protected] W ALMART S S USTAINABILITY S TRATEGY (A) We’ve come to believe through experience that you really can create environmental progress by leveraging corporate purchasing power. And who’s got more purchasing power than Walmart? Gwen Ruta, Director of Corporate Partnerships at Environmental Defense Fund, in a July 2004 article 1 I NTRODUCTION In October 2005, in an auditorium filled to capacity in Bentonville, Arkansas, Lee Scott, Walmart’s president and CEO, made the first speech in the history of Walmart to be broadcast to the company’s 1.6 million associates (employees) in all of its 6,000-plus stores worldwide and shared with its 60,000+ suppliers. Scott announced that Walmart was launching a sweeping business sustainability strategy to dramatically reduce the company’s impact on the global environment and thus become “the most competitive and innovative company in the world.” He argued that, “being a good steward of the environment and being profitable are not mutually exclusive. They are one and the same.” He also committed Walmart to three aspirational goals: “To be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy; to create zero waste; and to sell products that sustain our resources and the environment.” 2 In the past, Walmart had dealt with environmental issues defensively, rather than proactively and as a profit opportunity. In 1989, in response to letters from customers about environmental concerns, the company launched a campaign to encourage its suppliers to provide environmentally safe products in recyclable or biodegradable packaging at no additional cost.
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