Wal-Mart's Sustainability Network Concentrates On Supply Chain

Under Wal-Mart's watchful eye, its Sustainable Value Network pulled together global leaders to discuss how the supply chain can affect environmental change. Attendees included Lorraine Bolsinger of GE, Stewart Muller of Philips Consumer Electronics, a representative of the Rocky Mountain Institute, Wal-Mart's CEO Lee Scott and hundreds of suppliers.

"We are all passionate about making real progress regarding the environment," said Scott. "By working together, we can help each other save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pass the savings on to our customers. Sustainability is good for the environment, and it's also good for business."

Focusing on actions that are currently being implemented, Steve Varon, president of Dana Undies, discussed how his company is working with Wal-Mart on energy efficiency initiatives, and as a result, has been able to significantly reduce their energy costs. GE and Wal-Mart are exploring ways to promote efficient lighting, especially LEDs and compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Each of Wal-Mart's 14 Sustainable Value Networks -- the teams responsible for managing the sustainability of the various aspects of the business, such as packaging, global logistics, apparel and seafood -- provided updates and shared lessons learned regarding their efforts to improve the company's carbon footprint.

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