“Given the fact that Wal-Mart customers generally are unwilling to pay a premium for environmentally friendly products, how is the company deriving business value from its sustainability strategy, or if not, how can it ensure that it does?”
Wal-Mart launched a sustainability strategy to dramatically reduce the company’s impact on the global environment and become “the most competitive and innovative company on the world”(Denend, L.(2007)).I believe the decision to launch a sustainability strategy was a brilliant move for the company because it takes advantage of the opportunity to significantly increase Wal-Mart’s reputation, thereby increasing consumer loyalty and profits in the long-run. Through this strategy, not only would Wal-Mart benefit, but the global environment as a whole.
Wal-Mart responded to public concerns of the company’s global environmental impact by contracting a nongovernmental organization (NGO) to research the issue. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) compiled data regarding the impact in five areas: 1) greenhouse gas emissions, (2) air pollution, (3) water pollution, (4) water use, and (5) land use. From this research came Wal-Mart’s sustainability strategy. The company began to develop goals and objectives to reduce their impact on the environment (Denend, L.(2007)).
During the process of developing goals and objectives, the organization’s culture shifted from an internally focused culture to collaborative partnerships. Wal-Mart realized that in order to become sustainable, they needed help; so they sought input from every source imaginable, consultants, suppliers, manufacturers, eco-friendly competitors, academics, critics, etc. Ultimately, the company identified to three primary areas that it could set environmental goals to reduce Wal-Mart’s impact: energy, waste, and...