Force of Nature: The Unlikely Story of Wal-Mart’s Green Revolution

09/06/2011 at 6:27 am Leave a comment

Wal-Mart—the world’s largest, arguably most powerful corporation—has long been plagued by terrible PR and a never-ending slew of lawsuits.  Enter Jib Ellison, river guide turned corporate consultant, determined to convince executives that making a profit and building a sustainable business are not mutually exclusive and would, in fact, confer a powerful competitive advantage.

Ellison has instituted a project at Wal-Mart called “The Index” that challenges suppliers to root out inefficiency and waste.  Packaging has shrunk, saving millions of gallons of water, millions of pounds of cardboard, not to mention diesel fuel.  Wal-Mart’s sheer size, coupled with its lowest-pricing mission, means that producers are forced to take steps toward sustainability—and make natural, organic, and earth-friendly products widely available.

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Humes offers a stirring story of how ecologically responsible practices are increasingly benefiting the bottom line, and how as Wal-Mart goes global , the biggest retailer in the world is, slowly but surely, encouraging a change for the better.  A fascinating, fair-minded look at the congruence between environmentalism and business, and the behemoth at the intersection.

 

 

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Entry filed under: Business, Economy, Environment, Recommended Reading, Social Responsibility, Sustainability. Tags: , , , , , .

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