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Supply chains

For years Wal-Mart has been focusing on operations and supply chains, growth, and profits. Wal-Mart’s sustainability initiative may single-handedly transform the environmental movement and the way business operates, suppliers manufacture, customers use and dispose of products. Challenging the business-as-usual approach, Wal-Mart’s recent embrace of sustainability represents a key shift in the company: a shift towards eco-efficiency to derive economic benefits from improved environmental conditions. This shift manifests in a complex initiative that stretches deep into the operations, management, and strategy of the firm.

Sustainability has been a hot topic for several years. Taking Wal-Mart as an example, this paper firstly gives out the definition of sustainability and also a brief explanation, then discusses and analyzes the operation strategy that this supermarket adopted. This paper also talks about what sustainability meant to Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart China as well as its current and potential customers in China. Then this paper displays the distinguished features of Wal-Mart China’s distribution system and operations and its application in the process of selection and evaluation of suppliers.

Last but not least, the paper gives some advices on Wal-Mart’s sustainability strategy. At last, this paper draws the conclusion of Wal-Mart in carrying this strategy. Since its entering China in 1996,

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Wal-Mart has made great success. By the fall of 2005, Wal-Mart was on track to exceed annual worldwide revenues of US$280 billion. The company has grown significantly from its humble beginning to become a retail operation spanning 13 countries, which has over 7,000 stores, 68,000 suppliers and two million associates.

Wal-Mart aims to offer its customers high quality merchandise at the lowest prices and also best service as possible. However, accompany with the quick growth, Wal-Mart also exposes many questions, such as gender discrimination and great power consuming and public criticism and so on. Therefore, after its founder Sam Walton and his successor David Glass, Lee Scott took control of Wal-Mart in 2000. In late 2005, it laid out a detailed summary about Wal-Mart’s new sustainability initiative.

Challenging the business-as-usual approach, Wal-Mart’s recent embrace of sustainability represents a key shift in the company: a shift towards eco-efficiency to derive economic benefits from improved environmental conditions. This shift manifests in a complex initiative that stretches deep into the operations, management, and strategy of the firm. Taking Wal-Mart as an example, this paper firstly gives out the definition of sustainability and also a brief explanation, then discusses and analyzes the operation strategy that this supermarket adopted.

This paper also discusses what sustainability means to Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart China as well as its current and potential customers in China. Then this paper displays the distinguished features of Wal-Mart China’s distribution system and operations and its application in the process of selection and evaluation of suppliers. Last but not least, the paper gives some advices on Wal-Mart’s sustainability strategy. Finally, this paper draws the conclusion of Wal-Mart in carrying out this strategy. Frank Dixon (2006) believes that sustainability relates to ensuring society survives and prospers over the long-term.

Dow Jones defined “corporate sustainability” as “a business approach that creates long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks deriving from economic, environmental and social development (Nidumolu 2009). ” Zhao (1996) stated that when people talk about sustainability, they normally first point to the systems that are designed into the facility. Sustainability, however, goes far beyond that. It includes the cartons that the material comes packed in as well as the trucks that we unload and load each day.

As is said above, it can come to a conclusion that business sustainability is a long and sustainable development, While in Wal-Mart’s operation strategy, and sustainability means initiative, which wants to implant something green into Wal-Mart’s DNA. It means its commitment to sustainable development as ensuring a better quality of goods and services for everyone, now and for generations to come and had sustainability programs throughout its worldwide operations. It requires significant changes in its resources, its logistics centers, its suppliers as well as its distribution systems.

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