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Friday, November 2, 2007

I'm sure Hillary can explain it

Slick Willie's pimping "green, sustainable" Wal-Mart now.

Comments (19)

I'm no fan of Wal-Mart, but there's been a great deal of press for quite some time about a variety of Wal-Mart's "green" initiatives, from purchasing decisions to solar panels on new stores. Encouraging additional such action by Wal-Mart, and perhaps copy-cat actions from other businesses who aren't otherwise concerned about sustainability, is a good thing. When it becomes an economic norm to seek more environmentally friendly business practices, we will all benefit.

What he said.

I guess Fireman Randy and the boys are contributing to global warming by keeping Wal-Mart out of town.

Seems to me that Sam The Tram's been the main force against WalMart.

Yeah, I forgot, that everything is black and white. "Wal-Mart, bad; green, good -- does not compute." In fact, one can very easily appreciate Wal-Mart's efforts to engage in more sustainable business practices, without also wanting Wal-Mart to kill local stores and send the profits elsewhere. In the real world of policy, I don't think you will (or should) find easy answers.

Has anybody yet been able to say exactly why it is that IKEA is good and Walmart is bad?

Wal-Mart also encourages all of its employees to take on "personal sustainability projects," making a voluntary commitment to make healthier food choices, volunteering in their communities, and using environmentally friendly products in their own lives. The company provides resources and learning tools for employees to learn how to make a positive impact. Over 600,000 of Wal-Mart's 1.3 Million US employees have signed on. Whether you think that is a sincere attempt to effect positive change or merely a ploy to generate goodwill, you have to admit that this is a good thing for the country and our kids.

Has anybody yet been able to say exactly why it is that IKEA is good and Walmart is bad?

IKEA is from Sweden; Wal-Mart is from Arkansas. What's your point?

So... anything(s) from Arkansas is bad?? Wonder if Bill drove himself to Seattle in his Prius?

Wal-Mart could have gotten Edward Burtynsky for a lot less. Maybe he wasn't available?

Wonder how much Microsoft paid for the "Giving" speech?


Has anybody yet been able to say exactly why it is that IKEA is good and Walmart is bad?

I am guessing but maybe it's the size of the checkbook.
I know thats a shot in the dark, but it is the only real issue I see.

Has anybody yet been able to say exactly why it is that IKEA is good and Walmart is bad?

After a shopping trip to Ikea with his dad and older brother, my 25 year old son said that the only way Ikea could have been worse was "if he'd had a woman dragging him through it with her." I suspect he'd say the same thing about Walmart though.


There is no green without local.

IKEA's ownership structure is a good deal more opaque than Wal-Mart's, intentionally so, and apparently so that the actual owners can avoid taxes. The local IKEA store is a franchise, as are most or all of the stores.

What a timely topic...
I just attended The Quality Lighting in a Green World Symposium this weekend for the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) in St. Louis.
One of the featured speakers was Ralph Williams, Senior MEP Systems Engineer for Wal-Mart Stores.
I came away from being neutral about Wal-Mart to being very impressed by them for taking the leadership in providing a Green Solution for their inventory of stores.
There has been a misconception that going green is not good for business or for the bottom line, and they have turned that concept completely on its ear.
Beginning in 1993, they saw the benifits of "Green" Roofs (Actually White), Sky Lighting, Dimmable and Controllable Fluorescent Lighting, use of LED's in Signage and Retail Regrigeration facings.
They have reducued the Watts per square foot by 25% in Existing Stores and 30 to 35 % in New Stores.
Above and beyond lighting, advances they have made in HVAC, Cooling Units for Refrigeration, De-Humidification, Solar Power, Wind Power and Rain Water Retention was quite impressive.
They are also taking this concept to their fleet by demanding more efficient diesel trucks.
A one mile per gallon improvent for their fleet means $52 Million a year in savings.
The List goes on and on, including the PSP Initiatives that Rich mentioned in a comment above.
Mr. Williams said that the Green program started out as a PR Stunt, but when they saw the benefits for the environment and the bottom line, the company embraced the initiative.
Don't get me wrong, I'm no wonk for Wal-Mart or Bill Clinton, but I came away with a different view and can see why the Clinton Foundation supports Wal-Mart's industry leading initiatives.


How come Walmart is ok on the east side (3 stores), but not on the west side?
How come Adams didnt stop those? Just curious...

Well, as for an explanation, Hillary did serve on the Wal-Mart board of directors.

I have to say, I don't understand the virtual adulation of Wal-Mart's in some quarters. I worked with a bunch of conservatives and it was practically a religion with them. It wasn't their religion because they were LDS, but I don't think I've got the same kind of brand attachment to anything except for some restaurants I like.

The personnel problems exposed at Wal-Mart are certainly a drawback, I would think. Does anyone know how green the Chinese factories where their products are made are?

But then I don't shop at Costco or IKEA, either.

From all accounts, Costco doesn't have the same personnel issues as Wal-Mart. Quite the opposite, from what I hear.

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