Greening Walmart: Progress and Controversy
In 2005, Walmart, the world's largest retailer, launched a sustainability initiative aimed at reducing waste and making the company more environmentally and socially conscious. By 2015, the company had made progress on multiple dimensions: energy efficiency in its stores and its supply chain, lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions, safer products for customers and manufacturers, and better treatment of its workers. The company promoted the idea that its size gave it significant influence in the economy and that if it took steps to operate more sustainably, and demanded its suppliers do the same, this would have an impact on its own bottom line and make the world a better place for everyone. Students can explore whether Walmart is making these changes to improve its battered public image, improve its bottom line, or because it is the right thing to do.