Wal-Mart - Initiatives That Benefit Society

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  • Topic: Salmon, Aquaculture, Better
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  • Published : August 16, 2011
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Since Wal-Mart opened its doors in the early 1960’s profit as with any corporation has been a main focus. Achieving and succeeding in this however is easier said than done, development and success of a company relies on efficiency in current practices and improvements in those practices to insure the future of the company. A strong sustainability strategy which is closely followed will allow for such growth and success; bringing profits to the organization.

Wal-Mart is said to be “a template for 21st Century capitalism” [1, pg 3] they hold a reputation for low prices; however this reputation is not reflective of their profits, as seen during the fiscal year of 2008 Wal-Mart earned $12.73 billion dollars. [2] With such sizable profits corporations can afford to take risks for potential loss or reduced profits in hopes of encouraging improvements to the environment and society. Some products have been incorporated into Wal-Mart’s stocking that hold little potential for profit, but improved environmental and social contribution. Wal-Mart has set goals to become more socially and environmentally responsible for the impact their products hold. [3]

Topic Question
As evidenced by Exhibit 12, Wal-Marts sustainability strategy has generally been very profitable. However, two initiatives described in the case benefit society and the environment, but apparently decrease Wal-Mart’s profits. Identify those two initiatives and imagine that you are their internal champion. •How would you justify pursuing those initiatives?

As a team we identified two initiatives in which Wal-Mart provided a product that had the potential for social and environmental improvement, however did not meet typical profit expectations. Alaskan Salmon fillets which were caught in the Wild by commercial fisheries hold a social improvement for the consumer while the corporation saw little profit and in some cases minor losses. The other initiative which we identified was...
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