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Towards Large-Scale Sustainability: Wal-Mart Goes Green

How do you change the way a multinational corporation does business? Simplify the message. Could the same tactic work for Federal agencies?

turning ship

It is well-known to many Americans that Wal-Mart has been taking steps towards sustainability for the past few years. Wal-Mart, like many companies, saw that ‘going green’ was good for the environment, and made good business sense. This, of course, contradicts the old myth that is steadily becoming disproved: being environmentally-friendly is bad for business, bad for profits. In fact, according to a recent Fast Company article, Wal-Mart used a simple equation to decide to go green.

“Carbon equals energy. Energy equals money. Cutting carbon saves money.”

So maybe it’s that simple. Sure your Federal agency doesn’t have a profit motive like Wal-Mart’s, but it does have budget lines and customer satisfaction goals. When asked, people regularly prefer an environmentally-friendly product or service over one that’s less green. And if the business case is as simple as the quote above, the benefits couldn’t be more plain.

Wal-Mart, like the Federal government, is a massive operation. And we know that the CEIL Blog’s audience, like the gentleman who gave the quote above, is at the forefront of the government’s sustainability efforts. So that’s why we’ve shared this simple sustainability message today, because maybe the short answers are the most helpful in “turning the supertanker” around.

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