Walmart and the Triple Bottom Line
Today’s highly competitive, globalized world requires companies to think differently about how they are going to stay in business. Organizations can no longer afford to focus on profits as their sole purpose for existence. They must instead consider the “Triple Bottom Line,” which is community (social responsibility), planet (environmental sustainability) and profit (the bottom line). In this paper I will evaluate the sustainability plan of Walmart based off of the organization’s stated mission, values, and core competencies. Walmart claims to be wholly committed to sustainability as its ethical responsibility, but a review of its approach to sustainability and progress-to-date clearly shows that Walmart, while making strides towards “going green,” still has a long ways to go.
The mission statement for Walmart is: “Saving people money to help them live better” (Walmart, 2013). Walmart has a singular focus, and that’s cost – providing products at the cheapest prices so that the savings can be passed on to the consumer. That focus seems to be a successful one, as indicated by annual consumer spending of $400+ billion. With that amount of consumer spending, it appears that Walmart has a business model that works. However, according to the concept of “Triple Bottom Line,” customer satisfaction and revenue aren’t the only factors involved in determining business sustainability - social responsibility and care for the environment are of equal importance as well. The following sections will deal with Walmart’s performance in the areas of ethical sourcing, community involvement, and environmental sustainability.
Walmart claims that its mission is centered on helping people live better which applies not only to customers and associates, but also the workers who make their products. They supposedly verify (through 3rd party audits) that all the products they sell are...