Wal-Mart created a green jobs council and has partnered with many of its sustainability suppliers to facilitate the creation of green jobs in the U.S.
The Wal-Mart Green Jobs Council is made up of representatives from the retailer’s divisions, including store operations, real estate, logistics and sustainability, as well as representatives from suppliers across a range of industries.
Wal-Mart recently signed a four-year agreement to purchase 226 million kilowatt-hours of wind energy annually from Duke Energy. The retailer says the purchase will lead to the creation of green jobs in Texas. The wind power is expected to supply up to 15 percent of the retailer’s total energy load in about 360 Texas stores and other facilities.
At an inaugural meeting of the new council, participants identified their top catalysts for creating green jobs, including government policies, executive leadership for sustainability programs, and market drivers such as increased customer demand. Top barriers identified by the group include a lack of a trained workforce and lack of access to capital, especially in the current economic environment.
The next Green Jobs Council meeting is expected to convene in Washington, D.C., in early 2009.
Executives from Waste Management, FedEx and Lenovo recently discussed sustainability and the supply chain at Wal-Mart’s Sustainability Summit in Beijing, China.