Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wal-Mart Gets Behind the Planet

Esteemed Harvard professor Roasabeth Moss Kanter recently published an article lauding Wal-Mart's newest environmental initiative, saying: "This is one small step for Wal-Mart and one giant leap for Planet Earth." You can read the article here at

This would seem to establish Wal-Mart as a leader in two of the "4 P's" of corporate social responsibility. They have long held a firm grip on "profit" and now seem intent on getting very serious about "planet".

Let's hope this is a signal that they will soon consider leadership in the the other two p's of corporate social responsibility- people and purpose.

You may already know about Wal-Mart Watch (, launched in 2005 as a nationwide public education campaign to challenge the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, to become a better employer, neighbor, and corporate citizen.

"People issues" still dog Wal-Mart, particularly in the area of providing quality health care to employees and labor relations in general. "Purpose issues" also linger, with many still questioning the values and integrity of company leadership.

Overall, I am thrilled to see Wal-Mart stepping up their commitment to a sustainable planet, and hope that they will continue to make strides by embracing people and purpose in addition to profit and planet when they measure their bottom line.

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