Under its new triple bottom line mandate, Wal-Mart has recently conducted several socially responsible activities. Among these activities includes Wal-Mart’s efficient relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina; and an effort to go green and conduct activities that cause less harm to the environment. For example Wal-Mart has cute paper and plastic and has saved fuel by shipping more items on one truck. It has also recently opened up an eco-friendly store and is in the process of opening up other such stores which receive electricity from solar panels and wind turbines. Wal-Mart is thus making a strong effort to make a real difference for the environment and has helped develop its image as a greener Wal-Mart. These initiatives are in line with Wal-Mart’s new triple bottom line mandate – people, profit and planet. Under this philosophy, businesses are involved in designing and operating with models that not just deliver profits but take care of their people and the environment. While Wal-Mart is on the right track, it still has a long way to go when it comes to ensuring sound wages for its employees, proper health care benefits, a caring management, good customer service and extensive community work and efforts.
Wal-Mart has recently established a new office dubbed the “Action Alley” which is responsible for Wal-Mart’s recent campaign to improve its public image. It comprises of Wal-Mart’s own publicity staff and is responsible for dealing with any new blast of criticism on Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has opened up eight community relations offices nationwide to deal with the large number of criticism that is generally associated with Wal-Mart. Although it is a constructive step but the amount of money being spent to ward off bad publicity could result in high costs for Wal-Mart. It is important for Wal-Mart to focus on its low cost operating model because that is one of its most important competitive edge. At the same time with so many lawsuits and negative criticism Wal-Mart’s image has really suffered and it is important that the company took some steps to counter these attacks.