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services of higher cost; people with low incomes but obsessed with brand names like KitchenAid; and wealthier shoppers who were looking for deals. Though the company, in early 2006, tried a repositioning exercise through ‘Look Beyond the Basics’, the endeavour did not produce the expected results. Then WMT took the middle path of ‘Save Money, Live Better’.While ‘Save Money’ was always part of the WMT culture, ‘Live Better’ brought in an emo-tional component. The change in the mission statement and its environmental initiatives went together. The company wanted to ensure that customers could have a guilt-free shop-ping experience. The green initiatives of WMT made customers feel better about shopping there. These initiatives helped the company to strengthen its value systems.WMT had been on a continuous learning path during the formulation and implementation of its environmental strategy. It was entering into an unchartered territory. However, the company embraced uncertainty and made progress. In October 2006, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club decided to sell 100 million compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs by the end of 2007. In a speech to the National Retail Federation in January 2008,11Leslie Dach, Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Government Relations said:Like our initial environmental goals, at first, we weren’t sure how we were going to achieve this—we were entering a world of the unknown. But we met our goal three months ahead of schedule…and sold nearly 137 million CFLs. We did it by changing our marketing approach and educating consumers, and in many cases lowering prices. WMT created thirteen environmentally sustainable value networks that comprised environmental NGOs, suppliers, government officials and scholars. This structure brought immense creativity to WMT’s environmental initiatives and explored options like pursuing regulatory change and raising public awareness to address systemic barriers 11(Accessed on 4 November 2009).at Alliant International University on March 10, 2010 Downloaded from
124R. NANDAGOPALANDAJITHSANKARR.N.ASIANJOURNALOFMANAGEMENTCASES, 6(2), 2009: 119–133to sustainability. ‘We owe a great deal of credit for our progress to the women and men serving in these networks’, said Dach.12One of the important aspects of the company’s environmental strategy was to follow an organization-wide approach in implementing environmental initiatives, be it some important decisions relating to one of the largest solar panels purchased by the company or the removal of a light bulb. One of the stories shared by Dach13was the suggestion made by Darrell Meyers, a WMT associate, who pointed out that energy was being wasted by the unnecessary use of light bulbs in vending machines in the break rooms. This resulted in savings of more than $1 million once these bulbs were removed. This saved money was channeled to ‘Everyday Low Prices’14offered by WMT. This bottom-up approach made