By Trina Tocco, Campaigns Coordinator at International Labor Rights Forum
Right now I am just so angry at the idea that Wal-Mart spends so much of its energy trying to convince suppliers to reduce packaging, energy use and other practices that cause environmental harm. On the other hand, it still struggles to actively engage in more than one factory case a year. Somehow it has time and money to hire a consultant to train Chinese suppliers on being more energy efficient and yet it doesn't have the ability to make sure its workers are being paid the legal minimum wages at their factories in China.
So I ask you, what should ILRF be doing to have a greater impact on Wal-Mart? What have you seen other organizations do well that you would like us to consider?
Here is a snippet that was written yesterday by Reuters entitled Wal-Mart pushing Chinese suppliers to go green:
Wal-Mart Stores Inc will meet with its thousands of Chinese suppliers this fall as part of a big push to reduce waste and emissions at factories that make its products, Chief Executive Lee Scott said on Thursday.
The company's top priorities in China will be to address the appropriate disposal of waste as well as to make reductions in both waste and greenhouse gas emissions. It will also work on reducing packaging and boosting energy efficiency, much as it has in its U.S. business, Scott said.
Wal-Mart has pushed its suppliers to cut back on the amount of packaging they use by 5 percent by 2013.
Wal-Mart is also working with its suppliers to make the most "energy intensive" products in its stores 25 percent more energy efficient within three years. By 2010, the retailer also wants all its flat-panel TVs to be 30 percent more energy efficient.