It’s not easy to be green, especially if you’re Wal-Mart

May 18, 2011

In his new book “Force of Nature,” Pulitzer Prize- winning journalist and author Ed Humes tells the story of the unlikely partnership between H. Lee Scott, the CEO of Wal-Mart and Jib Ellison, a sustainability consultant and how they’ve struggled to define what is means for the biggest of big box superstores to go green. For a company the size of Wal-Mart to make the commitment to sustainability is a veritable paradigm shift, which required the CEO and the environmentalist to prove that going green is the most efficient and most profitable way to do business. According to Humes, Wal-Mart’s embrace of sustainability created a tipping point for other companies and then for whole industries. This green revolution in big business is causing Wall Street to rethink how corporations are valued while it shatters the myth that profit and sustainability are incompatible. Can Walt-Mart or other behemoth retailers ever really become green?

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