Sustainability Pays, Says Wal-Mart & Some Of Its Suppliers in PBS NewsHour Interviews

Sustainability Pays, Says Wal-Mart &
Some Of Its Suppliers in PBS NewsHour Interviews

As part of the PBS series, "Peril and Promise: The Challenge of Climate Change," the network's NewsHour reported on how a few large U.S. companies are doing their part to meet climate change challenges...and prospering...even as the Trump White House continues to move toward withdrawal from the historic Paris Agreement (COP 21).

The efforts of the giant retailer Wal-Mart Stores are highlighted in the broadcast.  Wal-Mart stresses that it is striving to be recognized as a corporate leader in the "fight against climate change."  Kathleen McLaughlin, the company's chief sustainability officer, is interviewed in the program by PBS correspondent Stephanie Sy.

Says the Wal-Mart CSO:  "...sustainability is core to our mission.  It's critical for business.  It's important for customers and communities..."
The company's sustainability journey was launched in 2005 by then-CEO Lee Scott.  He pledged to curb the company's GhG emissions by the use of clean power sources, aiming for 100% renewables over time. As part of the effort, Wal-Mart saves energy -- and money! -- in store operations by demanding more efficient equipment from vendors (for HVAC, lighting, refrigeration).  There are solar installations on 364 Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores now -- this makes the company the second largest commercial solar power generator.

Wal-Mart plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 2025 by 18% from its 2015 levels, even as it ambitiously expands its retail footprint.  With 99% of the company's GHG impact coming from its supply chain, Wal-Mart points out that at its encouragement, dozens of its major suppliers have signed on to Project Gigaton (the effort to cut emissions).

One of the company's key suppliers -- candy maker Mars, makers of M&Ms -- itself set an aggressive target of "zero carbon" in its operations by 2040, working to achieve zero GHG emissions by that date.  The company's "vast solar farm" in rural New Jersey is featured in the PBS broadcast.  Barry Parkin, chief sustainability officer of Mars, Inc. is interviewed about the company's efforts.

Key to the sustainability efforts:  Wal-Mart's model, the way stores are managed, the work done with the massive supply chain partners...all of this "optimizes and lowers the footprint to deliver the same amount of product to people," explains company CSO Kathleen McLaughlin.  And, she adds, "if you look at the scale and ambition of the efforts and what we've actually achieved, I'm actually quite excited about it."

The company has partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund ("EDF") for guidance in achieving its climate change goals.  Responding to the question about is "Wal-Mart doing enough?," Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund in the interview said:  "The scale of Wal-Mart is hard to wrap your head around.  They can always do more.  What they have shown so far is a serious commitment, and the journey is an ongoing one of improvement."

Making this story come alive for you:  There is a videotape of the program and the various interviews posted in the print version of the program script in our Top Story that you can view.  You'll also want to read the various viewer/reader responses to see the perspectives shared by viewers...many opinions were shared, both positive and negative. 

"Peril and Promise" is an ongoing PBS series on the human impact of, and solutions for, Climate Change."  FYI, PBS is the largest non-commercial television network in the U.S.A., with more than 350 local stations broadcasting PBS and their own programming; combined, these reach more than 100 million households. Major stations are located in New York City, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, Denver, Detroit, and many more cities in the 50 states.

Top Stories This Week...

Large companies see payoffs in sustainability
(Monday - September 18, 2017) 
Source: PBS NewsHour - This summer, when President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 Paris climate accord — a voluntary pact to cut emissions of gases that cause global warming — some opposition came from what is perhaps a surprising place: big... 


About Sustainability: Progress Is Being Made
- We See Forward Momentum!

U.S. Says Climate Pact Position Unwavering as Cohn Hones Stance
(Monday - September 18, 2017) 
Source: Bloomberg - The U.S. administration hasn’t changed its position on the Paris climate accord, which continues to be that it may stay in the global pact if it can reach a compromise that’s “fair and balanced,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson... 

Sustainability research that aims to change the world
(Monday - September 18, 2017) 
Source: Eco-Business - Pursuing knowledge can build expertise in a field, or it can change the world. Professor Manfred Lenzen explains how the University of Sydney’s purpose-first approach to sustainability research helps students tackle tough global.

New report proposes step-change in sustainability business metrics to safeguard global security
(Tuesday - September 19, 2017) 
Source: ICC - The Earth Security Report 2017 was launched today, providing a roadmap for global business to align its growth to the demands for social inclusion and environmental security that are defining the countries in which they operate.

Sustainability professionals should 'surf' this career roadmap
(Wednesday - September 20, 2017) 
Source: GreenBiz - As companies and governments made structural changes to promote sustainability, it emerged, slowly but surely, to become a permanent part of most institutions  

Bridging the gap in sustainability
(Wednesday - September 20, 2017) 
Source: The Business Times - The rise of technological innovation, which has enabled near-instantaneous exchange of information around the world, coupled with generational differences, has resulted in investors and consumers placing a huge emphasis on the... 

Our Focus This Week on A Range of ESG Topics & Issues -- Things to Think About...

New climate change calculations could buy the Earth some time — if they’re right
(Tuesday - September 19, 2017) 
Source: Washington Post - A group of prominent scientists on Monday created a potential whiplash moment for climate policy, suggesting that humanity could have considerably more time than previously thought to avoid a “dangerous” level of global warming. 

August 2017 was second hottest on record: NASA
(Wednesday - September 20, 2017) 
Source: Indian Express - Last month was the second warmest August in 137 years of modern record-keeping, according to an analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA. The measured value is “consistent with the trend in global average surface... 

The Centrality Of Science To Sustainability
(Tuesday - September 19, 2017) 
Source: Huff Post - But environmental and sustainability science are key to effective environmental policy and to the development of sustainably managed organizations 

Headlines for You From the Corporate Sector -Both Positive & Negative

Nespresso Launches First Major Sustainability Campaign
(Wednesday - September 20, 2017 - Source: Sustainable Brands)

Volkswagen is 'second mover' in electric commercial vehicles: executive
(Monday - September 18, 2017 - Source: Reuters)

Column Lifelock offers to protect you from the Equifax breach — by selling you services provided by Equifax
(Tuesday - September 19, 2017 - Source: LA Times)

And Industry / Sector News...

The path to agricultural sustainability starts with coffee
(Monday - September 18, 2017 Source: Mashable)

EU rules Italian ban on GMO crop unlawful
(Monday - September 18, 2017 Source: Reuters)

Can Performance and Sustainability Coexist in Apparel?
(Tuesday - September 19, 2017 Source: Sourcing Journal)

Sustainability Gets Greater Focus From US Cotton Industry
(Wednesday - September 20, 2017 Source: Sourcing Journal)

Diesel Emissions Responsible for 5,000 Deaths Per Year in Europe Alone
(Monday - September 18, 2017 Source: News 18)

Sponsored Message


News & Opinion: Asset Managers, US Pension Funds, Sovereign Wealth Funds

The World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Hits $1 Trillion
(Wednesday - September 20, 2017) 
Source: Bloomberg - Norway’s sovereign wealth fund hit $1 trillion for the first time on Tuesday, driven higher by climbing stock markets and a weaker U.S. dollar.  


Hurricane Harvey - The Bigger Picture

How Andrew helped insurers avoid devastating losses from Harvey, Irma
(Tuesday - September 19, 2017 Source: Washington Post)

Thousands likely to be killed by Hurricane Irma’s deadly legacy
(Tuesday - September 19, 2017Source: New Scientist)



G&A Institute Sustainability Update
Informative, insightful, thought provoking
Governance & Accountability Institute's blog focusing on the sustainable world evolving daily before our eyes.  Read it, absorb it, question it and challenge.

Meet Jocelyn Cascio, Intel Corporation @ Demystifying The CSA & DJSI Workshop

Meet Robert Dornau, RobecoSAM @ Demystifying The CSA & DJSI Workshop

Sustainable Business Practices Can Impact The Bottom Line, Say This Quartet of Researchers — Lessons Here For Busy Execs

DJSI Results Announced — Are You In / Out? Attend Our Workshop in Collaboration with RobecoSAM in New York City on October 24th



Missed one of our webinars?
Access archived recordings & slides via the links below. Have an idea for a future webinar, email us at

GRESB in 60 Days: Tech, Tools & Best Practices to Respond in 2017

Why Getting Started with CDP is More Important than Ever in collaboration with CDP

Why 2017 Should Be The Year You Respond to RobecoSAM (DJSI)? in collaboration with RobecoSAM and Nasdaq


Governance & Accountability Institute Featured Service
Stakeholder Report Review
Engage and receive important feedback to guide future reporting, materiality and strategy-setting...
Learn more about Stakeholder Report Review

Using The GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework Improves The Quality of ESG Disclosures - Joint Research From G&A Institute and Baruch College Shows

Learn More About G&A Research

Featured Events



G&A Institute is the Data Partner for the Global Reporting Initiative's (GRI) in the USA, UK and Republic of Ireland. We identify, receive, collect, analyze, database, and communicate about every report issued in any of the 3 countries. Over the past 6+ years, G&A analyzed 6,000-plus sustainability reports in this pro bono role and databased 100+ important data points for each report. 
Find out more @ G&A's What's A Data Partner



Navigating the way to sustainability...
Contents © 2009 - 2017
All Rights Reserved

Copyrights for other providers are noted where appropriate.
Please credit the source if quoted.


The Sustainability Highlights eNewsletter is prepared by Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc. based on continuous monitoring of trends and developments in Sustainability and ESG. Governance & Accountability Instiute is the “Sustainability Headquarters™” for clients in the corporate, investment, public and social sectors. Based in New York, G&A is a for-profit consulting organization providing a range of value-added strategies, services and resources related to ESG & sustainability to clients in the corporate and capital markets communities. For G&A's full range of services, click on each of the links below:

Sustainability / ESG Consulting Services

Communications & Recognition Services

Investor Relation Services

For more information, contact Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc.
New York, New York | Tel 646.430.8230 | Web | Email