Bentonville, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announced Tuesday it has established a partnership with its leading sustainability suppliers to facilitate creation of green jobs in the United States.
The new Wal-Mart Green Jobs Council is comprised of representatives from throughout the retailer's divisions, including store operations, real estate, logistics and sustainability, and representatives from suppliers across a variety of industries.
"We believe that creating green jobs is essential to keeping the United States competitive in the global marketplace," said Leslie Dach, executive VP of corporate affairs and government relations for Wal-Mart.
As part of its companywide sustainability goals, Wal-Mart is committed to being supplied 100% by renewable energy, creating zero waste and selling environmentally friendly products. The company is moving toward these goals by using sustainable sourcing practices including energy efficiency, waste reduction, renewable energy and life-cycle management.
At the inaugural meeting of the Wal-Mart Green Jobs Council, participants identified their top catalysts for creating green jobs, including government policies, executive leadership for sustainability programs, and market drivers such as increased customer demand.
Top barriers identified by the group include a lack of a trained work force and lack of access to capital, especially in the current economic environment.
More than 30 suppliers participated in the inaugural meeting, including BP Solar, Dematic, General Electric, HydroPoint Data Systems, Lennox, ReCold, Schneider Electric, SwissLog, Systecon, Thermastor and Zurn.
Wal-Mart plans to convene its next Green Jobs Council meeting in Washington, D.C., in early 2009.