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Cool Blue





Joined: 21 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:11 am    Post subject: Walmart: Saviour of the Environment Reply with quote

Some excerpts:

http://www.financialpost.com/m.....?id=610758

Giant Steps
David Dias, Financial Post Business
Monday, July 07, 2008


It was in late October of that year that Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s chief executive, Lee Scott, delivered his momentous "Twenty First Century Leadership" speech ...
"Our environmental goals," Scott said, "are simple and straightforward: to be supplied 100% by renewable energy; to create zero waste; to sell products that sustain our resources and environment."


...Lee vowed to spend $500 million annually to meet targets such as reducing Wal-Mart's greenhouse gas production by 20% over the next seven years, doubling the efficiency of its massive trucking fleet within 10 years and assisting in the development of a green supplier program in China, the source of so much Wal-Mart merchandise.


For Cheesewright,(CEO Walmart Canada), it was more than a step: It was a call to action. Within months of Scott's speech, he was rolling out programs and making pledges of his own -- a vow to recycle, reuse or compost all waste from the 307-store chain by 2010, a promise to reduce the amount of packaging for store products by 10% within 18 months and a commitment to a pilot solar-power project that would actually put clean energy back into the grid.


Among its key features are hard targets for reductions in its carbon footprint and energy consumption at its stores, a commitment to being Canada's largest consumer of renewable energy, a $2.5-million fund to support the restoration of community green space over the next five years and a sustained program to more offer environmentally efficient products and educate consumers about their benefits.


About two years ago, for example, Wal-Mart Canada began replacing the 32-watt fluorescent lights that were standard in its stores with 25-watt lights. Now about three-quarters of the way through the retrofit -- involving more than 130 million bulbs -- the program will save Wal-Mart about $5 million in reduced energy costs over the next five years. During the summer months, from the beginning of June through September, the company's central computers are now automatically dimming lights at its stores by one-third, leading to further savings. At new stores, where additional roof insulation has been added to the design, energy costs are down a full 25%.


Other measures included replacing short-lived cardboard boxes with plastic boxes that can be used 60 times, on average, before wearing out. These boxes are now ubiquitous throughout Wal-Mart Canada's internal logistics network, saving 1,400 tonnes of cardboard and driving out $4.5 million in costs. In 2007, meanwhile, the company opened up a small revenue stream with the recycling of 88,000 tonnes of cardboard -- the equivalent of production from 1.5 million trees. Wal-Mart Canada expects to realize a further $20 million in savings from green initiatives over the next five years.


In November, when Wal-Mart released a report on its global sustainability program, it was able to announce strides such as a 15% improvement in the efficiency of its truck fleet and reaching its goal of selling one million compact fluorescent light bulbs.


... company has extraordinary power to influence practices at some of the world's largest manufacturers, ..., Lee Scott contacted General Mills about the unnecessary curliness of the noodles in boxes of Hamburger Helper. Straight noodles take up less space, he told the food producer, reducing the size of the package and making it more efficient to transport. General Mills listened to Scott and straightened its noodles. The result? A 20% reduction in the size of a box of Hamburger Helper, making them more efficient to ship and taking the equivalent of 500 distribution trucks off the road.


Wal-Mart applied similar pressure to Procter & Gamble, the maker of Tide laundry detergent, when it announced that it would phase out regular-concentrate detergent across North America in 2008 in favour of double-concentrate detergent... As a result -- and with other detergent makers following suit -- Wal-Mart is cutting the volume of its detergent packaging in half. The company claims this will reduce the usage of plastic resin across North America by 100 million pounds over the next three years. It will also save 425 million gallons of water -- equivalent to 100 million showers -- and ultimately take 15,000 trucks off the road.
Cool Blue





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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the idea of them having solar panels on the roofs off their stores which sell electricity to the grid.

That would make for a nice secondary revenue stream.
Mac





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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool Blue wrote:
I like the idea of them having solar panels on the roofs off their stores which sell electricity to the grid.

That would make for a nice secondary revenue stream.

Wal-Mart wanted to build a "green" store here in Vancouver, off Marine Drive in an area which is mainly industrial. After mega protests from the usual suspects (anti-poverty quacks, social-housing freaks, anti-capitalism wackos) the city rejected Wal-Mart's application. So much for Vancouver's "greener than thou" cred.

-Mac
FF_Canuck





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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The area where I live often sees the same shenanigans. I find it especially amusing when the anti-poverty people get all up in arms, considering how much benefit a Wal-mart can be to those with less to spend.
Cool Blue





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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Wal-Mart wanted to build a "green" store here in Vancouver, off Marine Drive in an area which is mainly industrial. After mega protests from the usual suspects (anti-poverty quacks, social-housing freaks, anti-capitalism wackos) the city rejected Wal-Mart's application. So much for Vancouver's "greener than thou" cred.


I recall reading about that. The design for the building was amazing.
Big Tuna





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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FF_Canuck wrote:
The area where I live often sees the same shenanigans. I find it especially amusing when the anti-poverty people get all up in arms, considering how much benefit a Wal-mart can be to those with less to spend.


I believe they get all up in arms because (especially around smaller towns) Wal-mart creates "those with less to spend".
Mac





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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big Tuna wrote:
I believe they get all up in arms because (especially around smaller towns) Wal-mart creates "those with less to spend".

That's what the anti-poverty advocates claim but they don't normally back up their claims with evidence. The best they can do is point to small stores which often close and chances are good that those stores were running on the ragged edge long before Wal-Mart came in. Wal-Mart doesn't help their own case with their rather ruthless methods of extracting price reductions from their suppliers and their extensive use of imported goods but they don't push other stores out of the market. The customers do that.

Those who are inclined to shop at Wal-Mart will do so regardless whether there's a store in their neighbourhood or not. Those who are inclined to shop at their favorite local shops will continue to do so. Those who couldn't care less, one way or the other, are the "target" market. Local stores either become more efficient/effective or their profit margin shrinks until the glitter of the Wal-Mart wears off which doesn't take that long.

-Mac
kwlafayette





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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool Blue wrote:
I like the idea of them having solar panels on the roofs off their stores which sell electricity to the grid.

That would make for a nice secondary revenue stream.
Solar panels are not that great, there are more efficient ways to harness the sun's energy. Of course, well meaning people often make mistakes like this; ethanol.
Big Tuna





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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac wrote:
Big Tuna wrote:
I believe they get all up in arms because (especially around smaller towns) Wal-mart creates "those with less to spend".

That's what the anti-poverty advocates claim but they don't normally back up their claims with evidence. The best they can do is point to small stores which often close and chances are good that those stores were running on the ragged edge long before Wal-Mart came in. Wal-Mart doesn't help their own case with their rather ruthless methods of extracting price reductions from their suppliers and their extensive use of imported goods but they don't push other stores out of the market. The customers do that.

Those who are inclined to shop at Wal-Mart will do so regardless whether there's a store in their neighbourhood or not. Those who are inclined to shop at their favorite local shops will continue to do so. Those who couldn't care less, one way or the other, are the "target" market. Local stores either become more efficient/effective or their profit margin shrinks until the glitter of the Wal-Mart wears off which doesn't take that long.

-Mac


It would be an interesting study to compare business closure rates, average incomes, etc. of small city/town areas before and after a Walmart moves in.
plantguy





Joined: 27 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe a study was done by New York city a couple of years ago. As a result there are no Walmarts in the city. They are confined too the suburbs outside of New York.
Mac





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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

plantguy wrote:
I believe a study was done by New York city a couple of years ago. As a result there are no Walmarts in the city. They are confined too the suburbs outside of New York.

I wonder if those studies were done over a reasonable period of time or within the space of a year? Yes, having a new big box challenges the locals but that's not necessarily a bad thing... and the merchants who rise to challenge do very well, indeed.

Wal-Mart was supposed to be the death of Zellers and Canadian Tire yet both are thriving. Home Depot was supposed to destroy Rona but somehow Rona is building new stores... and the local mom & pop hardware shop does just fine too.

Like I said... those who are going to shop at Wal-Mart will drive to the burbs if necessary. Cities who ban Wal-Mart from their boundaries simply add more traffic to their infrastructure without gaining any tax base which doesn't strike me as being particularly clever.

-Mac
Cool Blue





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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It would be an interesting study to compare business closure rates, average incomes, etc. of small city/town areas before and after a Walmart moves in.


My home town of Cornwall, ON:

before Walmart (1994) - 21% unemployment

Today - 6%

This drop in unemployment is partially due to a massive Walmart distribution center that opened up in town. Starting pay is $10 an hour and some people make up to 18.

It''s one of the largest, if not THE largest warehouse in Canada. The size of 20 football fields and truckers drive inside to unload. Employees have electric golf carts to get around the place.
mrsocko





Joined: 29 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here in Sarnia we have a super Wallmart. Must cover 2 acres. Along with your big box it would hold alot of sloar panels. Beats takin farmland out of production like their planning for this "Solar farm" here.
mrsocko





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Location: Southwestern Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My home town of Cornwall, ON:

before Walmart (1994) - 21% unemployment

Today - 6%


Is there NOTHING the free market cannot do!!!

Government interference is so counter productive. Taxing the sh*t out of people so that they will change there habits never works. It just destroys intiative.

Better to create a few laws and see what happens

Socialists are so stupid!!
Cool Blue





Joined: 21 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Capitalism : F*CK YA!
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Walmart: Saviour of the Environment

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