In an effort to de-taint its public image (and cut long-term overhead costs), mega-retailer Walmart has been going “green” for over a decade with eco-friendly changes to its operation. And yesterday the company announced it is asking its suppliers to help them in their latest initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 million metric tons in the next five years.
While they did not go into specifics, Walmart did say they will be working with suppliers of their most carbon-heavy products — mostly food and clothing — to help them rethink everything from methods and materials to shipping, packaging and distribution. The costs related to making these changes will lie solely with the various suppliers, but Walmart believes they’ll realize that making these investments now will result in long-term profitability.
Obviously, it’s not merely a desire to save the planet that’s motivating Walmart to put this pressure up their supply chain. The ultimate goal of all these improvements is lower costs and higher efficiency, all of which they hope will help to maintain their position atop the retail food chain.
A major motivating force for suppliers to get in line with Walmart’s green goals is the ever-increasing cost for energy and fuel. “We know we need to get ready for a world in which energy will only be more expensive,” explained Walmart big chief Michael T. Duke.