The CSR Newsletters are a freely-available resource generated as a dynamic complement to the textbook, Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Sustainable Value Creation.

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Strategic CSR - Walmart

Walmart is a phenomenon that CSR advocates need to take seriously because it is so huge. When Walmart does something, it immediately and irrevocably alters whatever market it is affecting. As reported in the article in the url below, this effect is no more apparent than in its experiments with solar energy:
“In the race for commercial solar power, Wal-Mart is killing it. The company now has almost twice as much capacity as second-place Costco. A better comparison: Wal-Mart is converting more sun into energy than 38 U.S. states [see:].”
Whatever Walmart decides to do (good or bad) is big news. This applies equally to its attempts to reduce packaging in its supply chain (Chapter 3: The Walmart Paradox, p102) as it is for beer:
“Wal-Mart recently decided alcohol was good business and vowed to double sales by 2016. The result: 500 reps from the alcohol industry converged on the Sam’s Club auditorium in Bentonville, Arkansas, for an ‘adult beverages summit’ focused on Wal-Mart.”
In similar ways, Walmart’s effect on the market for solar power is dramatic:
“After a 40 percent surge in installations through the second quarter, Wal-Mart now draws on 89 megawatts of capacity, according to a report last week by the Solar Energy Industries Association. That’s roughly enough to power 22,250 U.S. homes.”
This graphic, which accompanies the article, displays the disparity among Walmart and its nearest solar power competitors:
Have a good weekend
David Chandler & Bill Werther
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Wal-Mart Now Draws More Solar Power Than 38 U.S. States
By Tom Randall
October 25, 2013