Published On: Sat, Oct 10th, 2020

Walmart vs Amazon: Which Is a More Sustainable Business?

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The demand for sustainable practices is growing. Now, consumers are holding companies accountable for their products and practices.

Companies such as Walmart and Amazon now face the scrutiny of powerful forces. These forces include cash infused millennials.

Resultantly, these two powerhouses are making moves. They’re positioning themselves as responsible corporate citizens.

The Walmart vs Amazon battle has begun. However, they’re going about it in very different ways.

To learn which retailer is doing more between Amazon and Walmart, keep reading.

Bezos in the Hot Seat

In the Amazon vs Walmart sustainability war, Amazon wears its practices on its sleeve. Company officials express that business is now about more than creating shareholder value.

It’s also about creating employment opportunities. According to Amazon execs, it’s also about helping the environment. Furthermore, it’s about providing value to customers.

In this spirit, the company has created the Amazon Climate Pledge. However, some critics suggest that Amazon’s pledge isn’t enough.

On Instagram, company leader Jeff Bezos announced his climate commitment. He pledged to contribute $10 billion toward reversing climate change. The retail leader says he will contribute to funds through the Bezos Earth Fund.

The goal of the Bezos Earth Fund is to support advocates for the environment. However, critics want Amazon to take action instead of donating money. Bezos counters this sentiment by expressing that any effort to help the environment is positive.

Bezos downplays his company’s powerful impact on the retail environment. However, the company’s impact is so strong that it’s dubbed as the “Amazon Effect.”

Likewise, Bezos claims that one-day shipping is more environmentally friendly. It does seem like online shopping is better compared to consumers driving to stores. However, some researchers don’t agree.

When consumers purchase from Amazon, it feels like they’re doing their part to help the environment. After all, they’re not getting into a vehicle and using fossil fuel to drive to a store.

However, many people overlook the fact that delivery drivers must use gas to deliver their packages. In light of the convenience of online shopping, it’s easy to miss the connection.

Of course, the Amazon CEO realizes this. Accordingly, the company’s climate change initiative focuses on reducing its carbon footprint.

Walmart Takes Aim

When comparing Walmart vs Amazon in sustainability, Walmart is almost secretive. The company stands in league with employees. Together, they focus on sustainability over profits.

In other words, when it comes to Walmart vs Amazon green practices, Walmart doesn’t just talk the talk—they walk the walk. Now, Walmart’s environmental efforts are proving a thorn in the side of Amazon.

In recent months, the company has ramped up its environmental efforts. It’s implementing sustainable solutions. For example, it’s added 120 electric car charging stations at its retail locations.

Also, Walmart has deployed sustainable buying practices. As an example, it purchases from sustainably sourced private coffee manufacturers.

Walmart also does its part in the community. To date, the company has invested in 36 community solar gardens.

Overall, Walmart does a great job in the sustainability arena. However, it doesn’t advertise its sustainable acts.

Instead, the company focuses its sustainability PR on sustainable packaging and recycling. From a business standpoint, this tactic makes sense. It’s one of Amazon’s biggest weaknesses.

Walmart vs Amazon: Who Will Prevail in the Sustainability War?

One might wonder, “Is Walmart better than Amazon when it comes to sustainability?” The answer to this question may lie in how the two companies started on the sustainability path.

Regarding the start of the Amazon vs Walmart sustainability conflict, Amazon started with data. At some point, company execs realized that they suddenly gained access to a remarkable amount of information.

This information included data points about packaging. It helped them to reduce waste from operations. The data also helped Amazon make better use of natural resources.

Walmart, however, had a different epiphany. The company realized its role in the community during Hurricane Katrina.

Its role in helping Hurricane Katrina survivors made the company realize its responsibility. Walmart executives express that caring for their communities makes good business sense.

The company has also made excellent strides in reducing its carbon footprint. Today, Walmart has reached 25% of its goal of using 100% renewable energy.

Again, Amazon talks about it, but Walmart does it. Apparently, Walmart has figured out how to work with third parties across the nation to make it happen.

Now, Walmart execs express that supply chain sustainability starts with considering packaging end-of-life. This philosophy has compelled the company to launch several on-site recycling centers. Walmart also holds in-store recycling educational events.

Also, the company places its How2Recycle label on their private label products. How2Recycle labels are a standardized system that clearly explains recycling practices to consumers. The labels are part of the Walmart Recycle Together initiative.

Walmart May Yet Prevail

It seems that Walmart has an inside track on outperforming Amazon. It’s no wonder with CEO Mark Loehr at the helm.

The top-performing exec is a former soldier of the Amazon camp. Today, however, he’s leading Walmart. If you want to figure out what motivates Walmart, it makes sense to learn more about Marc Lore.

Now, Walmart is a sustainability leader. However, the company earns sustainability PR with their actions rather than their words.

Company officials believe that they can respond to ecological threats. Much like they responded to the Hurricane Katrina emergency. Part of that plan includes supplying Walmart with 100% renewable energy.

Walmart is also working toward reducing waste. Furthermore, the company is ramping up sustainable products for customers.

These priorities are a driving force of Walmart’s sustainability efforts. What’s more, Walmart is not only working to improve its sustainability, but also that of its partners.

Sustainability Is Big Business

Amazon and Walmart continue to work toward their sustainability goals. No matter what, the Walmart vs Amazon sustainability battle is a good thing. As Walmart and other big retailers like it continue to embrace sustainable practices, the world becomes a better place. The fortunate thing is that corporations are finally paying more attention to how they affect the world.

The actions of big companies like Amazon and Walmart affect everyone. Accordingly, it a good idea to keep track of what’s going on in the world.

If you enjoyed this article about sustainable business, then check out the rest of our blog.

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