Saturday, December 1, 2007

What's Up With Wal Mart

This is not your father's Wal Mart.

The company is emerging as a leader in resource husbandry, to wit:
  • Green store test platforms. Wal Mart built two stores with an array of environmental features to study which could be implemented across the company. Maybe wind turbines like this one at the McKinney store will make sense at windier Wal Marts.

  • Truck Fleet Efficiency. Wal Mart engaged environmental consultant Rocky Mountain Institute to wring fuel out of its trucking operation, promising to cut fuel use in half by 2015.

  • Clinton Climate Initiative. Most recently, Wal Mart announced it will help "cities to buy green by using its purchasing resources to help drive down the cost of green technologies...the retail giant is working with the CCI [Clinton Climate Initiative] to create high-performance LED light fixtures designed for parking lots and street lamps."

Getting a little help from Wal Mart is exciting because:

1) the impacts of the world's largest retailer can in turn be large.

2) Wal Mart excels at rooting out efficient, market-worthy ways of doing business--showcasing sustainability's profit potential.

For those who have issues with the company's track record on corporate citizenship, Wal Mart deserves another look. It might not be your father's Wal Mart, but it's my Wal Mart.