Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Wal-Mart Goes Local for Harvest Season

As more and more companies search for ways to create sustainability, retail giant Wal-Mart is making its own strides in the green movement. In this Associated Press article, the retailer reveals its five-year plan to increase the amount of locally-grown produce it features in its stores. The company also hopes to lower the amount of food waste at its stores by as much as 15 percent depending on the market. It’s not clear whether the retailer’s plan is in response to the growing number of consumers who support “Buy Fresh, Buy Local” campaigns that draw business away from Wal-Mart and toward smaller farms and produce retailers.

What I found intriguing is Wal-Mart’s plan to educate local farmers on sustainable agricultural practices and ways to increase efficiency. The company would like to train more than 1 million farmers in emerging markets on crop selection and sustainable farming techniques. While some may criticize this decision as an attempt to paper over a low-cost supply chain, Wal-Mart deserves some credit for attempting to create a commitment to sustainable agriculture.

Soundview has previously covered the topics of sustainability and consumer demand for green products. If you’re looking for great book summaries on these topics, I’d highly recommend the following two titles.

Ecological Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. The percentage of customers who base buying decisions on a product’s eco-sensibility is increasing. In this summary, Goleman examines the shift in transparency and how it plays into succeeding in the developing eco-marketplace. If you read the summary and want to learn more, Soundview also held an excellent installment of Soundview Live that featured Goleman discussing Ecological  Intelligence.

The Necessary Revolution by Peter Senge, Sara Schley, Bryan Smith, Nina Kruschwitz and Joe Lau. If sustainability is a subject about which you need complete understanding, few books handle the topic better than this one. Senge and his co-authors deliver memorable takeaways that will help any executive direct his or her business toward a profitable approach to solving global environmental issues.

For these and other great titles, visit Soundview’s Web site to learn more!


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