One of the most despised companies in the United States is leading the way in recycling.
I saw numbers in The New York Times about public perception of Wal-Mart. Only one in four people think the company is OK, while everybody else thinks it’s a pariah. C’mon people, it’s just a store! But I digress.
To Wal-Mart’s credit, they reuse or recycle more than 80% of the waste generated at their stores. And their goal is to get to 100% when it comes to recycling and reuse.
Meanwhile, Wal-Mart may well have the largest trucking operation in the U.S. In just 7 years, they’ve increased the fuel efficiency of their fleet by 70%. Their goal ultimately is to get 100% of the energy for their stores and distribution centers through renewables. Those are big numbers.
What’s behind all this? It started as a PR move because of the company’s poor public image. But now Wal-Mart has realized they’ve been able to reduce the overhead for their operation. To me, this is the ultimate example of enlightened self-interest in capitalism at work.
Think about it: Here’s the big, bad company that everybody loves to hate and they’re changing how they do things and actually being more progressive than the companies people love to love!