After reading “Walmart: The Future Is Sustainability” I’ve learned that the giant retailer has come a long way from when the founder Sam Walton opened his first store. Although Walmart faced negative images from their stakeholders; over the years the company has increasingly demonstrated efforts to become more sustainable. For example, according to Ferrell Fraedrich in Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases, Walmart is becoming a “greener company. Currently Walmart is working on four main green areas: waste improvement and recycling, natural resources, energy, and social/community impact. Walmart’s long-goal is to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy, create zero waste, and carry products that sustain the environment and its resources. (Fraedrich, Ferrell, 2013, 2011.) Also the plan of reducing ...view middle of the document...
During my reading I’ve also learned that Walmart has had controversy over being the largest retail store in the world and paying their employees low wages and benefits. There has been criticism for working employees for long hours with no breaks and failing to provide health insurance for more than 60 percent of its employees. I can see why this would be considered unethical which resulted in bad publicity in 2000 and 2005 towards the company causing Walmart’s stock to decrease by 27 percent. In 2006 Walmart raised pay tied to performance in about one-third of its stores. The company’s health insurance plan also improved by lowering the deductible and implementing a generic prescription plan estimated to save employees $25 million. (Fredric, Ferrell, 2013, 2011.)
Walmart has committed to building their relationships with the objectives of maintaining an ethical and sustainable reputation. In 2004 Walmart formed its Global Ethics office and released a revises Global statement of ethics. (Fredric, Ferrell, 2013, 2015.) Being socially responsive by contributing to disaster management projects, a reputation of lower prices for the consumers, the embarkment on a health initiative to address the growing problem of obesity by lowering their prices on fruits and vegetables have all contributed to better relationships with their stakeholders.
As with any retailer there will be pros and cons however even through the recession Walmart has survived, which tell us a lot of what the consumers think of the company. If Walmart continues with the mindset of goodwill towards the stakeholders and strong desire to become more sustainable instead of only considering its’ bottom the company will continue with its growing success rates.
Ferrell, O.C., Fraedrich, J., Ferrell, L.(2015) Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making And Cases