Sustainability: Walmart vs. Starbucks

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Business Models: Walmart vs. Starbucks

Introduction
Sustainability has become a great topic of interest in many arenas. Particularly, leading organizations are recognizing sustainability needs to be an essential aspect of their long term strategies. With this recognition, better business practices are being sought by investors as well as sustainability is becoming a driving force for better efficiencies and innovation. Two organizations, Wal-Mart and Starbucks, have both took on sustainability as long term initiatives to address their customer needs and affect how their suppliers operate. Analysis

With both Walmart and Starbucks being major players in their respective industries, both have proven themselves to be leaders. In Walmart’s unofficial mission statement they drive home the point they are focused on “saving people money so they can live better” (Walmart, 2012). It seems on a high level Walmart is solely focused on price points/profits while some may argue Starbucks is highly focused on quality. Taking Starbuck’s official mission statement into consideration, “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time” one could conclude they are more focused on the individual sale/individual (Starbucks, 2012). It presents an interesting dynamic as some in today’s marketplace would argue price points are more important, meanwhile, others may place more importance on the individual/quality of the experience.

With both organizations seemingly having opposite takes on their missions, it would also stand to reason their approaches to sustainability are different. Looking at Walmart’s sheer size and gross sales, $418.95 billion in 2011, versus Starbuck’s gross sales in 2011 of $11.8 billion, individuals really need to look at proportionality of stated sustainability figures (Market Watch, 2012). A clear example would be of Walmart stating their goal starting six years...
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