Wal-Mart, the Environmental Defense Fund and sustainable supply chains

An article in the New York Times (April 14, 2012) describes a partnership between the Environmental Defense Council (EDF) and Wal-Mart, as the retailer attempt to make its supply chain more sustainable. Wal-Mart would like to get to zero waste, 100% alternate energy and 20 % reduction in greenhouse gases and double its fuel efficiency. While EDF will have no contributions from Wal-Mart or other corporations, Wal-Mart’s improvements and direct measurement of its success provide tangible improvements to the environment. Wal-Mart claims an 80% recycling of waste, 60 % improvement in fuel efficiency from 2000 levels, 12.8 % reduction of greenhouse gases and 15 % renewable energy use. If Wal-Mart’s efforts decrease consumer costs and results in even more consumption, should that be treated as a sustainable supply chain ? Given that consumers seem to like sustainable products, but are not willing to pay the price, should these savings be used to pay for the potential cost increases, if any, for bio-friendly products ? Do you see the goal of these efforts to enable Wal-Mart to be positioned as a consumer destination i.e., are these efforts a more effective advertising approach ?

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About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Collaboration, Operations Management, Supply Chain Issues, Sustainability and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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