Walmart; the High Cost of Low Prices

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WALMART

High cost of low prices

As Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke indicated in an October 2008 speech to suppliers in Beijing, Walmart’s goal is to operate "a supply chain where goods are made in a way that protects our planet; where customers feel good about the safety, quality and durability of the products they buy; and where workers are paid well and treated well with the respect and dignity they deserve. To achieve this, we are expecting more of ourselves at Wal-Mart, and expecting more of our suppliers."

Corporate social responsibility

Andrea Thomas is Wal-Mart's Senior Vice President of Sustainability.  She is looking to improve Wal-Mart's relationship with farmers, which she says would stabilize their produce prices and give more of the money paid for produce directly to the farmers.  To accomplish this, they are prepared to sever ties with brokers and transportation and logistics companies that are currently acting as a "middle man"

Environmental

Lee Scott said the world’s largest retailer wants to be a “good steward for the environment” and ultimately use only renewable energy sources and produce zero waste.

They pledged to have all stores running off of 100 percent renewable energy, create zero waste and to make more environmentally friendly products. in 2007 Wal-Mart released their "sustainability 360" storewide policies. While it appears as though Wal-Mart is turning a new leaf, there are still reports concerning their lack of eco-consciousness.

Wal-Mart recently opened an experimental store in McKinney, Texas, to study environmental efforts such as heating the store with used cooking and motor oil.

Environmental goals center around reducing waste, environmentally friendly packaging, offering environmentally friendly products, running stores off of renewable energy and generally becoming more energy efficient. Currently, there are 20 US Wal-Mart stores in California and Hawaii that run predominantly off of solar power with...
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