Wal-Mart’s Sustainability Strategy (textiles)
Wal-Mart is the largest US retailer. Company’s decision to implement the business sustainability strategy to become “the most competitive and innovative company in the wolrd” should have a huge impact; since not only the company will become sustainable, but 60,000+ suppliers would b forced to implement sustainability. Wal-Mart is deriving business value from this not from generating news sales and creating profit, but by improving brand image and creating customers’ good will. For the successful implementation of the new strategy, Wal-Mart divided products into three categories: electronics, seafood, and textiles. Key element for the implementation of sustainability was not to create new jobs to do it, but to make it a part of every existing job. Among three networks, in my opinion, the most successful was textile network. This network made a major organizational change by redesigning its buyer role. The function was divided into four different job categories: merchandising, product development, technical services and sourcing, and planning and execution. These helped Wal-Mart to “ask better questions and become smarter merchants.” Major innovation in textile industry was an implementation of organic cotton. Wal-Mart adopted new standards and became the largest organic cotton buyer. I think, to further improve sustainability in this area Wal-Mart needs to use fair trade practices with cotton farmers.
Wal-Mart is doing a very good thing by adopting sustainable practices and selling more green and organic products. However, I think Wal-Mart is doing it not as an act of good will; it sees an opportunity in changing consumer trends and is taking advantage only for profit purposes.
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