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Walmart Opens Conversation on Sustainability with New Blog
January 6th, 2012
Walmart launched a sustainability blog this week, called The Green Room, with the stated purpose of developing a platform for an ongoing conversation with NGOs, suppliers and “others who want to share ideas and partner with us in helping people live better around the world.”
The blog states Walmart’s three overarching sustainability goals, outlined by former CEO Lee Scott in 2006:
- To be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy
- To create zero waste
- To sell products that sustain our resources and the environment
The first two posts address the reopening of a Walmart store that was destroyed by the tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri in May, and Walmart’s Direct Farm program in Costa Rica.
In the blog’s welcome message, Walmart senior vice president on sustainability Andrea Thomas poses several big questions:
- What do you think are the biggest challenges to sustainability?
- What do you wish we, as a company, could do to address an environmental or social issue?
- How could we help you reach your own sustainability goals?
Responses over the first few days have been numerous and genuine, focusing on topics like the prevalence of plastic bags, concerns for competing local businesses, and the potential Walmart has to drive systematic change.
One commenter – Kurt - sums it up well: “[O]ne of the most powerful and influential consumer outlets decides it is worth the risk to start conversations about going green. Whoever is heading up this effort, know that you are at the helm of a powerful ship and that we hope you guide it well.”
Bart King is a PR consultant and principal at Cleantech Communications.