- By the year 2025, Wal-Mart said it intends to operate more sustainably by powering the company with at least 50% renewable energy, reduce emissions by at least 18%, create zero landfill waste and offer 100% recyclable packaging, reported GreenBiz last week.
- In an effort to make the supply chain greener, locally-sourced staple items and produce are also going to be phased into Wal-Mart's 2025 push.
- Corporate efforts on behalf of sustainability are good business, with consumers seeking greener options in a world with shrinking resources.
Though sustainability and corporate America are no longer unlikely partners, the degree to which they've joined hands remains surprising.
Investment in the "greening" of a company is a risk, as it affects not only customers and staff, but also countless companies involved in the supply chain, all of which will be required to follow suit or risk losing a place on the shelves. A large corporation like Wal-Mart has an advantage since its sheer vastness can change the fortunes of a startup or a longtime, possibly forgotten favorite, meaning that suppliers are eager and willing to collaborate. Demanding change is a zero-sum endeavor.
However, due to the goodwill a policy of sustainability earns a corporation, it's a way for a company to endear itself to the public. Far smaller and more localized retailers, advertising a strong stance on the environment can become successful when customers believe that by shopping there they are "doing good."