Duke will keep Wal-Mart faithMarch 2009
Wal-Mart’s new chief executive Mike Duke has assured stakeholders that the company’s corporate responsibility efforts will continue on his watch.
Duke, who succeeded Lee Scott as head of the world’s largest retailer last month, says he expects the company to ‘accelerate and broaden’ its corporate responsibility activity.
Much of Wal-Mart’s CSR strategy has been driven personally by Scott, who had a Damascene conversion to the tenets of corporate responsibility in late 2005 (EP7, issue 7, p3).
However, Duke told Wal-Mart’s recent ‘2009 sustainability milestone meeting’ for employees that he was ‘very committed’ to sustainability. ‘I am very serious about it. This is not optional,’ he said.
Duke is an internal appointment. He joined the company in 1995 and has already had close involvement with its sustainability efforts, including leading a retailers’ workshop with Chinese businesses, at which he set out expectations on suppliers’ environmental practices.
Last month Wal-Mart announced new sustainability targets for its operations in Canada and Latin America, including a commitment to reduce phosphates in laundry and dish detergents by 70 per cent within two years and to cut packaging by five per cent within four years.
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