C HALLENGING THE B ELIEF Andy Ruben Ruben Vice President Corporate Strategy and

C hallenging the b elief andy ruben ruben vice

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C HALLENGING THE B ELIEF Andy Ruben (Ruben), Vice President Corporate Strategy and Sustainability, WMT. said: You know, the biggest challenge that we’ve seen all the way through it has been the mind-set. And what I’m saying is that many of the opportunities that we’re talking 23 In May 2007, Wal-Mart announced one of the world’s largest solar power purchases that will energize Wal-Mart’s twenty-two facilities in California and Hawaii. 24 Amanda Griscom Little, Don’t Discount Him, , 12 April 2006 (Accessed on 4 November 2009). 25 Press Release, ‘Wal-Mart Expands Leadership On Energy Efficiency, Ethical Sourcing And Health Care’, 23 January 2008. 26 Becky Batcha, ‘Wal-Mart’s boss in the Northeast is pushing the company’s strategy to cut costs by going green’, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 26 June 2008. at Alliant International University on March 10, 2010 Downloaded from
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W AL -M ART S E NVIRONMENTAL S TRATEGY 129 A SIAN J OURNAL OF M ANAGEMENT C ASES , 6(2), 2009: 119–133 about have existed for some time. It’s just the ability to see them, and it’s looking at things in a different way. And the way we’re approaching this is not a separate part of the organization that works on environment; we see it as consistent with our business and a part of the business. 27 In a response provided during an interview, Ruben had this to say about the criticism the company had been facing from some quarters: And what we have found is there are a lot of our critics out there who simply want Wal- Mart to be a better company. It’s not that they are interested in not having Wal-Mart. And that type of criticism’s actually very productive, and we’ve gotten a lot of help from those people over the past year in terms of understanding, you know, the things they know a lot more about than we do. And with working with them we found great innovative solutions to things that we hadn’t uncovered before. 28 The company was working with some of its ardent critics. Dach said: For Wal-Mart, it has been very hard to get some groups and individuals to sit down and talk with us. And some still won’t, but its fewer everyday and now some even seek us out. It’s amazing what happens when you say you want to listen and learn and have a conversation. You start finding common ground, and people that never would have worked with you before, now become partners. 29 Such an endeavour won the company applauds. Consultants like Dixon reported that WMT may be pioneering the first sustainability strategy that actually had the potential to achieve sustainability. According to Ruben, WMT had set inspirational green goals to ensure that people get out of their silos and use imagination and innovation required to meet those goals.
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