Start off your week with a bit of food for thought from GreenBiz.com -- on how Wal-Mart has changed the game in the Green Products marketplace:
Walmart, being the sensible world-dominating company it is, saw a new twist on green that other brands (both the traditional and uber ethical) had missed. In short, green equalled efficient, and efficient equalled money saving.There's still plenty not to like about the mega-retailer's impact on the availability of well-paying jobs in the communities where they displace smaller/family-owned shops (among other things). But backed by Satchi and Satchi S, they seem to be leveraging their buying power to really make a difference up and down their supply chain. I actually have it high on my priority list to dig deeper into what they're doing (and I'll report, from an ecological perspective, as soon as I have time)...
From lowering energy consumption to "encouraging" suppliers to cut down their packaging, Walmart introduced innovations in products, services and business models that truly broke new ground.
More than any other entity, Walmart convinced shell-shocked traditional brands that they had to get with this green innovation thing.
Today, we are starting to see the results.
One thing I don't see them doing is offering many products that are old-school durable, helping us get a better bang for our buck, reducing our resource use and waste over time, and saving us time and money buying and replacing our stuff. So many common consumer products today -- from computers to cell phones to coolers -- start malfunctioning or otherwise fall apart after a year or two, it's pathetic. Then we have to recycle them -- if they can be recycled -- and most people then burn fossil fuels to go to the store (or to place an order that needs to be shipped from thousands of miles away) to get a new version of that thing from Wal-Mart that's fallen to pieces after just a couple of years.
What are you going to do about that, Wal-Mart?