Fast Company

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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3 Comments

  • 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 http://answers.hhs.gov/questio..., 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." http://walmartwatch.com/pages/....