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Whole Foods Questions Sincerity of Wal-Mart’s Sustainability Efforts

Whole Foods, with 39,000 employees, $4.7 billion in annual sales, and 187 locations in North America and the U.K., has taken a strong stance on the environment. With consumers around world focusing on sustainability and global responsibility, Walter Robb, co-president, Whole Foods, believes other companies will have no choice but to follow. One of those companies is Wal-Mart, according to Corporate Board member, which has announced a goal of being powered exclusively by renewable energy and producing zero waste.

Wal-Mart has also made a foray into organic food, but, according to Robb, just because Wal-Mart decides to sell something doesn’t mean the Wal-Mart consumer is going to buy it. In order to sell organic food a company needs to spend time educating customers.

Wal-Mart is “looking around for how they can grow, and one of their answers is, ‘Well, we’ll be more sustainable and we’ll sell more organic.’ This is a strategy for them, as well as a feel-good thing,” Robb said. 

Robb points out that one positive aspect of Wal-Mart’s green makeover is that other businesses have to believe that sustainability is here to stay.

“We can all agree that it’s a good thing for the planet,” Robb said. “I don’t know that Wal-Mart thinks that as much as it thinks that’s a business game for them.”

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2 thoughts on “Whole Foods Questions Sincerity of Wal-Mart’s Sustainability Efforts

  1. I think it is great that Wal-Mart is thinking of stocking organic foods. If they actually have good fresh organic food at a good price I think we bloggers will help educate their customers.

  2. Sounds like Whole Foods is feeling threatened. Maybe it will cause them to drive their prices down and provide quality healthy food for more than just the affluent.

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