75%(4)3 out of 4 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 2 - 5 out of 16 pages.
3As of December 2008.at Alliant International University on March 10, 2010 Downloaded from
120R. NANDAGOPALANDAJITHSANKARR.N.ASIANJOURNALOFMANAGEMENTCASES, 6(2), 2009: 119–133and served more than 100 million customers. Globally, the company was also one of the largest private employers. A megalith corporation like WMT created substantially large ecological footprints. Taking into consideration the influence WMT wielded and also the scale of its operations, WMT’s decision to go green, as announced by Lee Scott (Scott), For-mer Chief Executive, WMT was initially met with skepticism from the public. However, its persistence on initiating and implementing ecologically friendly business processes seemed to have paid off. The company made cost savings through such initiatives and was projected as one of the leading green companies by the media. WMT also found that doing the right thing resulted in improved employee morale.While cost savings had been projected as the carrot for going green, observers questioned, to what extent this theme could be used as sales pitch for embracing green initiatives. Americus Reed, Marketing Professor at the Wharton School of Business said, ‘The barrier to proliferation of socially responsible policies is that it’s difficult to show social goodwill on the balance sheet. There is no column or item to say, “Here it is, here are the savings in dollars”. That’s the conundrum’.COMPANYHISTORYSam Walton (Walton) started WMT in 1962 by opening the first store in Rogers, Arkansas, USA. The company went public in 1972 and with the infusion of funds, it grew to 276 stores by the end of the 1970s. In 1980, the sales revenue touched USD one billion. Exhibit 1 illustrates the operating results for WMT in recent years.Walton was focused on offering the lowest possible prices to his customers. He said, ‘If we work together, we’ll lower the cost of living for everyone… We’ll give the world an opportunity to see what it’s like to save and have a better life’.4This statement was con-sidered to be Wal-Mart’s mission. In alignment with this philosophy, the company had been using the tagline ‘Always low prices’. In September 2007, WMT changed its tagline to ‘Save Money, Live Better’. The new mission of the organization ‘is to help people save money so they can live better’. The culture of WMT was threaded to its three basic beliefs—‘Respect for the individual’, ‘Service to our customers’ and ‘Striving for excellence’. The values that the company adhered to (see Exhibit 2), were built on these belief systems.4See (Accessed on 4 November 2009).at Alliant International University on March 10, 2010 Downloaded from
WAL-MART’SENVIRONMENTALSTRATEGY121ASIANJOURNALOFMANAGEMENTCASES, 6(2), 2009: 119–133BACKGROUNDWMT never had a leadership position when it came to environmental initiatives. Instead, the company was encouraging conspicuous consumption, producing massive quantities