Wal-Mart's Sustainability Initiatives

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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG074
Case Length : 17 Pages
Period : 2005-2007
Organization : Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : USA
Industry : Retailing

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Excerpts Contd...

The Green Strategy Contd...

Organic Products in the Stores
Apart from conserving energy and reducing pollution through its sustainability initiatives, Wal-Mart also started selling more and more organic food at prices that were lower than those offered by the competition. The organic food items offered by Wal-Mart included oranges, tomatoes, lettuce, apples, fresh herbs, packaged salads, pasta, olive oil, coffee, tea, peanut butter, bread, baby foods, milk, cheese, sour cream, ice cream, sauces, and seafood. The assortment of organic foods in any of its stores was tailored according to the customer base of that store. The organic offerings were labeled separately for the convenience of the customers and were priced not more than 10 percent higher than normal products...

Employee Personal Sustainability

Wal-Mart started the Personal Sustainability Projects (PSPs) on a pilot basis in July 2006, for its employees in select stores in the US. Through them the employees could develop goals to improve their health and wellness and the health of the environment. As a part of the program, the employees were encouraged to voluntarily adopt their own personal sustainability goals like healthier food choices, volunteering in their communities, and using environmentally friendly products in their homes...

Future Outlook

Analysts said that Wal-Mart's sustainability initiatives had taken many by surprise as the company was often accused of environmental abuse. By Scott's own admission, the idea which had been initiated to defend the company's practices and correct its image, later became a business strategy of prime importance for the company. “In truth, it began out of risk management. We knew the world was changing rapidly and expectations of businesses were changing, and quite frankly we wanted to be able to defend ourselves if we were attacked on an environmental issue...


Exhibit I: Stock Price Movement of Wal-Mart from 1998 to 2006
Exhibit II: Milestones in Wal-Mart History
Exhibit III: Wal-Mart Retail Formats
Exhibit IV: Some of the Controversies Faced by Wal-Mart
Exhibit V: Income Statement of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.


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