Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wal-Mart: the jolly 'green' giant?

After talking about organic/fair trade and other "green"  attributes today in class, it seemed only fitting to share this info I found from an article pertaining to Wal-Mart's new campaign for sustainability in its building design and product supply. The following video provides a few examples of what the company is pursuing. (Click on the title above to link to the original msn article.)

Question: Do you think it is ethical for Wal-Mart to market itself as eco-friendly sustainable when the majority of its green efforts have come from simply adding organic foods to their supply? Things to consider:

--  Are they REPLACING conventional (non-organic) products with organic alternatives or just ADDING organics on top of the goods they already purchase?  
--  If Wal-Mart is purchasing its organic products from the same national brands from which it gets its conventional products, does that really make a commendable difference? (ex: Smuckers peanut butter vs. Smuckers "organic" peanut butter...... comes from the same company, likely travels the same distance worldwide to get to the multitude of Wal-Marts...carbon footprint issues?)

Here's a more radical opinion of what might *really* be happening, just to play devil's advocate!

  Where do you stand on this issue in terms of Wal-Mart's use of green marketing?? What effect will this have on consumers - will it be successful for Wal-Mart in the short/long run?