Long term SD growth

Home Depot could be a good example for other companies which think that SD is incompatible with capitalism. Home Depot had been ranked “No. 5 for Most Environmentally and Socially Responsible Companies from the Natural Marketing Institute in March 2007”.
HD has policies for many if not all sections of their supply chain: from purchasing processes to waste management. HD’s website gives detailed information about concrete actions taken by the company to buy, for example, wood in a more “responsible” way: “our sales of FSC certified (by the Forest Stewardship Council ) wood products increased from $16 million to $350 million.”
HD also encourages their customers to reduce, recycle and reuse. They propose tips, environmentally friendly products and energy-efficient products to theirs customers, informing them about advantages of these products for the environment. Information is provided to them through their website, clinics that they offer to customers, signs into theirs stores and information given by their vendors.
Quantitative (qualitative when necessary) goals are fixed in order to self-evaluate their improvements. Results and information about taken actions are not provided in annual reports: HD prefers to updated these information as often as necessary on their website.
Partnerships with governmental and non-profit organizations are part of the company’s strategy in order to achieve their goals of being a good neighbour, taking decisions that will promote sustainable development.
HD often relies on consultants recommendations to help them improve their procedures. Their corporate culture, implemented by the founders of the company, must also play a big part in their employee’s ability and willingness to improve and make sure that their SD policies are taken into consideration when decisions are made.
HD has a global approach towards social responsibility, sustainability and environmental performance by always taking into consideration the impact of their decision on environment and on their communities. They have a wide variety of program, guides and policies which can be view on their website.

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Posted in corporate sustainability
3 comments on “Long term SD growth
  1. Claire says:

    HD’s initiative is probably good, but in my opinion it was commercially pushed to far. They advertise product as environment friendly even when the only envirnment friendly part is the packaging being recyclable. as an article of the NYtimes (June 25th, 2007) put it: “Can they really call the chainsaw Eco-Friendly?”

  2. Angelina says:

    Although I agree with Clair and NY Times article that realistically it is very hard, if not impossible, to verify and measure actual environmental effects of producing, sourcing and delivering so many items originating form various countries, the notion of environmental awareness pushed through such a massive distribution channel serves as an excellelent method of raising people knowledge about the environment. Considering how many customers in how many cities does the HD serve on a daily basis, the knowledge about any enviromental initiatives, concerns or efforts to reduce the impact is very important and will help to anchor attention to these problems among general public.

  3. Aldo says:

    In Australia we have a similar chain to Home Depot, known as Bunnings Warehouse. These big box stores are generally located outside of retail centres and therefore are more car dependent and do not encourage shared trips to the stores. The big box retailers achieve effiencies by storing their stock in their retail buildings rather than warehouses. The effiencies gained often result in smaller businesses not being able to compete on the range of goods offered and on price. This also results in job losses with Home Depot/Bunnings having a lower staff to floor space ratio, trips being more car dependant and decentralisation of retail activities resulting in fewer shared trips. The reduced costs of goods are achieved at the expense of the environment. Here is a link which highlights the problems caused by “big box” retailing such as the model which Home Depot is based on. We need to control this out of centre development with legislation and by supporting existing retailers in existing retail centres.

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