Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Woot for Wal-Mart

My junior year of high school I wrote a "research" paper (psh) about the Wal-Mart corporation. I made it very clear that I did not approve of the company's business methods or morals. Those opinions have stuck with me through my college years, and I still enjoy engaging in the Wal-Mart debate every now and then. However, today I found something that impressed me.

If you are too lazy (or un-interested) in clicking the link above I'll give a brief synopsis: Basically, Wal-Mart is going to begin ranking all of its products based on their impact on the environment--kind of like a food label telling you how "green" the item your purchasing is.
"To make it happen, Wal-Mart is expected to ask its more than 100,000 suppliers to provide details about their supply chains. It will also team up with scholars, environmental and social groups, and other retailers. "

I like this plan for a few reasons:

(a) Manufacturer's will now have a more objective approach for competing for the "green" market. No longer can people just throw buzzwords like 'fresh,' 'organic,' or 'green' on a product with no accountability.

(b) Because there is a rating system, competition for low environmental impact products will increase. For those that skipped out on ECON 101: more competition drives innovation up, and prices down.

(c) Wal-Mart's size is appropriate for this type of undertaking. It will encourage others to follow, and will also ensure the database of product listings is large enough to be effective.

(d) There is no government involvement. I'm ALL about that.

I'm no tree hugger, and I really don't believe that humans can do anything to adjust the temperature of the planet, BUT I do think we have a responsibility to take care of the Earth and we should constantly be improving how we use its space and resources. This approach seems reasonable and effective to me. Of course, sustainability ratings will probably be corruptible like food labels, but we'll see how it turns out!

1 comment:

dallin said...

look at you finding positive things to blog about, i love it! i tried to write a positive opinion blog the other day...i literally couldn't do it.