Posted by: grokscience | June 1, 2011

Sustainable Walmart

Sustainability and Walmart are not generally uttered in the same breath. Yet, the largest retailer in the world is becoming greener. On this program, Edward Humes discussed the greening of Walmart.

Sustainability on sale… 😉



  1. I get the feeling that the speaker is alluding that some want to harm the environment despite the cost (ie, Sam Walton must be turning in his grave if he knew Wal mart is doing something to reduce environmental impact and save cost). If the cost, in terms of money and time, is justified, businesses (and individuals) would not care if it is environmentally sound. They’ll just do it. But almost always, environmentally sound approaches cost more.

    Take cleaning the refrigerator coil for example. How much does it cost to pay someone to do that vs how much extra will it cost in energy bills? If it’s one or two days of cost in third world country, that would be fine. But if one had to do it in USA, one has to conform to myriad of laws, starting with OSHA and insurance costs and all the administrative costs involved. In the end, simply cleaning the coil may require dozens of people hundreds of man hours and on-going maintenance of those jobs (HR, lawyers, insurance, OSHA, IRS just to name a few). Unless the energy bill savings exceed those, company isn’t likely to take on the new money drain.

    Even to start contemplating this, one has to hire expert in all these areas to weight the cost/benefit. Why would most people do this unless the savings is very obvious?

    By the way, I drive a Prius and use CFL, because I’m a cheapskate, not because of environmental concerns. Savings is obvious.

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