Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Wal-Mart) announced last week that it created a Wal-Mart Green Jobs Council to facilitate the creation of green jobs in the United States. The Wal-Mart Green Jobs Council includes representatives from various Wal-Mart company divisions, including store operations, real estate, logistics and sustainability, as well as representatives from its 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 vice president of corporate affairs and government relations for Wal-Mart. "At Wal-Mart we believe that by bringing these companies together and working collaboratively we can help develop a larger green job workforce in this country."
More than 30 Wal-Mart suppliers participated in the first meeting of its Green Jobs Council, including BP Solar, Dematic, General Electric, HydroPoint Data Systems, Lennox, ReCold, Schneider Electric, SwissLog, Systecon, Thermastor, and Zurn. According to Wal-Mart, attendees at the meeting identified the following as among their top catalysts for creating green jobs:
- Government policies
- Executive leadership for sustainability programs
- Market drivers such as increased customer demand
The top obstacles identified by the group included:
- A lack of a trained workforce
- Lack of access to capital
The company said that Green Jobs Council participants are also defining standards for green jobs and will be working together to facilitate the development of green jobs.
"Wal-Mart's Green Jobs Council is driving collaboration among a variety of companies that are focused on America's most valuable resource; the American worker," said Christopher Spain, chairman and chief strategy officer for HydroPoint, Data Systems in Petaluma, Calif. "To overcome both rising unemployment and dwindling natural resources, we must invest in our nation's workforce through the development of jobs that preserve the environment for generations to come. I believe the goals of the Green Jobs Council are highly achievable."
The next meeting of Wal-Mart's Green Jobs Council is expected to take place in early 2009 in Washington, D.C.
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