Wal-Mart's Green Horizon: Coming to A Supplier Near You?

Fortune Magazine's August 7, 2006 issue has an 8-page cover story titled "Wal-Mart Saves The Planet". Even if you've read the many posts TreeHugger has had on Wal-Mart within the last year, this story offers some insights you won't find elsewhere. We were surprised, for example, at the extent to which traditional environmental NGO's influenced the company's recent strategy. The key excerpt for us was this one: "The company is so big, so powerful, it could force an army of suppliers to clean up their acts too". The full text is available on-line here , (but lacking all the nice color photos found in the paper version). Look below the fold for a few additional highlights.
• "Wal-Mart buys locally in two dozen states, striving to reduce "food miles" to save shipping costs and increase freshness".

• In developing a green strategy, Wal-Mart began "pulling ideas from everywhere" in what was termed an "open source approach".

• A management consulting firm, BluSkye, according to Fortune, spent nearly a year measuring Wal-Mart's environmental footprint. "Fairly quickly, the environmentalists [consultants] spotted waste that Wal-Mart's legendary cost cutters had overlooked". Oops.

• Wal-Mart " stock has fallen by 30% since Scott took over as CEO in January 2000".

• "The environmental campaign that Scott admits started out as a "defensive strategy" was, in his view, "turning out to be precisely the opposite." His people were feeling better about the company. They were saving their customers money".