Wal-Mart leads the way in corporate recycling


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!

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