Wasted Energy Is Wasted Money

Wal-Mart is the brand urban hipsters love to mock. But what to make of the company’s far-reaching environmental initiatives? They’re hard to argue with and might even persuade anti-Wal-Mart consumers to reconsider their super-store preferences.
Don Moseley, director of sustainable facilities for Wal-Mart, inside the new energy efficient pump house.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Wal-Mart is rolling out new eco-friendly stores around the nation. The goal is to make them 25 percent to 30 percent more energy efficient than existing stores.
On the packaging front, Wal-Mart will begin scoring its vendors on the sustainability of their packaging. The results are expected to influence Wal-Mart’s buying decisions. Wal-Mart aims to reduce overall packaging in its supply chain by 5 percent by 2013.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. packaging on which end. I go into walmart and come out with loads of walmart bags.
    I go to the local smaller market daily, walk lots of time to improve my packaging, and tell the clerk thank you, I don’t need any bag for these few items.
    It usually equalizes.
    Tell walmart to give their customers a saving if they use their own bags. Then you got even less packaging. Cause walmart is all about saving that extra 2 cents. RIGHT?

  2. Hmmm, hard to gauge how much more cynical I can become. Yes, thankfully this behemoth is making changes to become more energy efficient, but if fuel prices were not so high, they would have kept building the enormous death star stores. But how about all of those trucks that it takes to transport the goods to the stores and the shipping from China to the US, since the majority of their products are more than likely manufactured in low wage China sweatshops. Could have helped in that area by supporting American manufacturing, which they and other big box retailers have helped drive out of business.
    Now, about those crappy labor practices.

  3. @ fortyver –
    Cynical is good. It is hard to give too much credit when the problem is being created by the reformer. However, in this case, I think we need to recognize what’s good about this greening. A company that’s fanatical about cutting costs is going green to cut costs. That is, it’s a business decision. When it’s a business decision to go green, there’s a chance for this model to really go somewhere.

  4. David-
    I agree with you. It is good, no matter why they decided to do it. I just think it is a little early to lionize WalMart as a born again “good corporate citizen.” Their labor practices are still awful.

  5. Please. Ask the residents of the Outer Banks, NC, about the Wal-Mart that was built on wetlands. Anything they’re doing that could be interpreted as “good” is also making them money either directly or indirectly.