Honestly, I wasn’t going to touch this one. But then I came across a really great article over on CorpWatch titled “Wal-Mart’s (Un)sustainability Index” and, well, I couldn’t leave it be without sharing it with you guys. As regular readers know, I am not a fan of the big-box giant, mainly because of their atrocious human rights and employment rights violations over the years. But now I can add another reason to not like them – their new “Sustainability Index” which asks a bunch of their suppliers to answer 15 questions. From the article: “Ten of these involve environmental issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, water use, waste generation and raw materials sourcing. The final five questions are listed under the heading of “People and Community: Ensuring Responsible and Ethical Production.” Two of them involve “social compliance.” It is an amazing act of chutzpah for Wal-Mart, which probably keeps more sweatshops in business than any other company, to claim moral authority to ask suppliers about the treatment of workers in their supply chain.” Yes, if you look closely, they are keeping score on others about their corporate sustainability while not even judging themselves. Seems like they think that by making a big announcement about their new-found concern for where the
crap products in their stores comes from, they can place the blame for environmental issues squarely on anyone…except themselves. Greenwashing at it’s finest, I say. I will leave you with this tidbit from the article as well:
For years, Wal-Mart was notorious for pressing suppliers to reduce the quality of their goods to keep down prices. Now the behemoth of Bentonville is suddenly a proponent of proponent of products that “are more efficient, that last longer and perform better.” Will Wal-Mart pay its suppliers higher prices to cover the costs of improving quality?
What do you think?
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