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Walmart Strongarms Suppliers ... For Sustainability!

Walmart green

At the beginning of this year, Walmart Canada goaded the CEOs of 24 of the country's largest companies into committing to a "major sustainability project." The aim was to reduce the corporations' environmental impact over the long-term—but just six months since the pact, these big businesses are looking greener than ever, according to Green Biz. Here's a look at the top three sustainers up north.

Frito-Lay (Canada): One of our Most Innovative Companies, Frito-Lay has jumped on the sustainability bandwaggon with its 100% compostable snack bags which its SunChips brand will sell 17 million of before the year ends. Let's just hope they are actually 100% compostable .

Hallmark: In the last two decades, the company's Canadian operations have cut its energy use by 25%. This year, as part of another 20-year conservation project, the card-maker has converted its headquarters to 25-watt fluorescent tubes, reducing the company's energy 9.6% since January. (There's still the whole paper issue.)

Home Depot: You hear all the time of lofty long-term corporate goals—we'll cut energy consumption 50% in the next 50 years!—but not from this retailer. Home Depot Canada has set a manageable 5-year plan to reduce its energy consumption and carbon emissions by 20% in the next five years.

Head to Green Biz to check out the other participants and success stories in Walmart's sustainability challenge.

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  • Alan Earnshaw

    "Wal-Mart employees are the top recipients of taxpayer-paid health care."

    Sorry, but there is no way this is true. There are 98 million recipients of Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP (see, perhaps a million people serving in the armed forces, and several million more government employees. Now, if you add a qualifier like "top privately-employed recipients," I could agree, but only because Wal-Mart is such a large employer. Think of all the small businesses with minimum wage employees.

  • ircsmith

    Thank you Wendy. I clicked on this article with a "you have got to be kidding!" attitude. reading your comment made me realize I'm not alone in my understanding of Walmart. when I try to explain why shopping there is not such a great plan I get a lot of blank stares.

  • Wendy Heintz-Joehnk

    Seriously? The whole premise behind Wal-Mart's business model is unsustainable - buy a lot of unnecessary stuff at Wal-Mart because it's cheap, and let everyone who's buying this supposed cheap stuff (and even those who don't) pay for Wal-Mart employee healthcare*. All the Wal-Mart green washing won't begin to mitigate the cultural influenza perpetuated by the Wal-Mart way. Isn't Fast Company smarter than that?

    *"Wal-Mart employees are the top recipients of taxpayer-paid health care. The scope of this corporate failure is massive: Wal-Mart is the largest private employer in the United States, with over 1.3 million associates, yet they fail to give health insurance to 54 percent of its employees."