Walmart Tries To Make DVDs, Toothpaste, Soap, Milk, Beer, Vacuum Cleaners, and Soda Eco-Friendly

According to BusinessWeek, Walmart is using its considerable power to pressure its suppliers to reduce manufacturing energy consumption, and in doing so, cut costs.

Seven categories will be the focus of Walmart’s attention: “DVDs, toothpaste, soap, milk, beer, vacuum cleaners, and soda.”

From BusinessWeek:

The retailing giant announced the initiative Sept. 24 in partnership with the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a nonprofit group supported by institutional shareholders that focuses on climate change and carbon emissions. Wal-Mart says it plans to use the Carbon Disclosure Project’s expertise to help set up the new program with its suppliers.

“We are working together to measure our global supply chain footprint and to encourage our suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said John Fleming, executive vice-president and chief merchandising officer at Wal-Mart.

The article spends some time pondering Walmart’s motivation for participating in the program. We don’t think its that difficult to figure out. Walmart likes saving money and energy is expensive. If they can cut costs and look socially responsible by bullying their suppliers… why wouldn’t they?


Wal-Mart: Measuring Just How Green
[BusinessWeek]
(Photo:Getty)

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  1. boandmichele says:

    jar of pickles all over again. god i hate walmart. i dont care if this is socially or environmentally responsible or not. they are going to hold their suppliers hostage, and only for their own benefits.

  2. mopar_man says:

    Yet another reason not to shop at that hellhole. I feel sorry for their suppliers.

  3. harshmellow says:

    Yeah, I can’t wait to hear what types of “encouragement” they will use to do this. We’ve all heard stories about how they strong arm small businesses that want to do business with them, but the manufacturers of these items are not exactly small potatoes…

  4. hapless says:

    @boandmichele:

    Because the falling price of pickles in no way benefited consumers, ever.

    Not to mention, Wal-mart is a publically held company. For whose benefit should they be working, if not their own?

  5. The_Duke says:

    Corporations exist for one reason – to make money for investors. Any decisions made should be towards furthering this goal. Manufacturers are free to work with Walmart or not. It’s capitalism.

    If you “hate” Walmart, don’t shop there and don’t purchase stock. However, the market indicates there are very few of you who feel this way. It’s a vocal minority, sure, but it’s definitely still a minority…

  6. j03m0mma says:

    “Walmart likes saving money and energy is expensive.” Not sure how Walmart getting its suppliers to cut energy cost saves Walmart money. I’m still very very leary of Walmart, but a lot of their latest actions make it appear that Santa finally delivered the MegaGiagantic Corporation a little bit of a heart/conscience.

  7. Bitter Poor says:

    @ all of the above: I’m not exactly sure that bullying other large, evil corporations into being more green is necessarily THAT very bad of a thing…?

  8. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @LuxieP: Yeah, pretty much. When Wal-Mart comes up my usual thought is “Oh, if only they could use those powers for good!” — well, at least they do sometimes.

    Unplugging their phones probably helps save energy, too.

  9. Beerad says:

    @hapless: Well, I believe the argument is that consumers aren’t benefited if Walmart forces their suppliers into bankruptcy to meet their demands. Admittedly, Vlasic’s bankruptcy wasn’t entirely due to the gallon pickle jar/Walmart fiasco, but it certainly didn’t help anything.

  10. lo_fro says:

    I don’t think this project is really anticipated to make a huge difference, and really, this is giving Wal-Mart some PR that they don’t really deserve yet. I hope it does reduce CO2, but you know, we’ll see.

  11. snwbrder0721 says:

    @the_duke
    “Corporations exist for one reason – to make money for investors.”

    Did we just enter a time warp to the middle of the 20th century? What about triple bottom line? And why can’t corporations do well on the path to profit?

    I don’t shop at wal-mart, but if they want to take some green initiatives mainstream, I think that’s a good thing. As far as bullying their suppliers, I think that could be a good thing in this case, some companies need some encouragement to go green and if the government won’t supply enough incentive then by all means wal-mart should.

  12. mandarin says:

    Anyone find shopping in Walmart is a bit of a drag ?

  13. The_Duke says:

    @SNWBRDER0721

    It’s not mid-20th century, it’s the first ten minutes of corporate law class. Of course corporations can do “well” on the way to profit, it is a great way to make MORE money. They get business from environmentals that think they are doing a good thing…