Hug A Tree; Exploit A Worker

"...The performance gap between Wal-Mart’s actions on social and environmental matters exists for this reason: tackling climate change fits squarely within its current business model; improving labour standards does not. Getting suppliers to use less energy and cut other resource use saves on their production costs. This means Wal-Mart can bargain with them for even lower prices. In contrast, better labour standards are still associated with the higher costs of higher wages and the investment needed in continuous monitoring and fostering better relationships between management and staff.

Wal-Mart may have made a dramatic shift in its attitude towards the environment, but the dynamic that governs its relationships with suppliers remains the same. Scott’s green vision gives suppliers yet another reason to find ways to cut costs – this time by investing in energy efficiency, for example. Reforming labour practices at contract factories is a different challenge. It requires giving more power to employees at the bottom of the chain, for example through encouraging them to join unions and bargain collectively. That is not the Wal-Mart way..."

Read more @ Ethical Corporation.

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