Walmart has become a large player among corporations that consider being good for the environment is good for their bottom line. Although roundly hated for it hiring practices, among other things, it deserves recognition and applause for its work on behalf of the planet.
Each individual Walmart store has a carbon footprint 10% less than what it was half a dozen years ago. At the corporate level, cleaning up its trucking fleet alone has accounted for an even greater reduction and saved hundreds of millions of dollars in the process. These savings came from more fuel-efficient trucks, better route planning, and energy-saving refrigeration and lighting.
In another initiative, Walmart reduced its waste in California by 81%. This pilot program was so successful that the corporation is expanding it nationwide. Instead of paying to have waste taken to a landfill, Walmart worked to repurpose, recycle, or sell as much of it as possible. The vastly reduced expense now earns it more than $100 million dollars a year in California alone. It may never make it to “zero waste to landfill,” an achievement boasted by a number of smaller companies, but an 81% reduction is much closer than anyone thought possible. Think of the environmental savings (and corporate earnings) that will result nationwide in the near future!
People have long criticized Walmart for bullying suppliers. In complying with the giant’s environmental designs, the suppliers have actually benefited. Walmart has shown them how to reduce their own energy bills and carbon footprint. When Walmart demanded that laundry detergents come in less wasteful bottles, for example, the amount of plastic and cardboard not used for packaging reduced shipping weight and bulk saved half a million gallons of diesel fuel. Read more about this green corporation.
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