Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Wal-Mart and Pepsi representatives to talk about going ‘green’

It isn’t just the grocer who’s going green.

Two of the most recognized corporate brands in the world, Wal-Mart and PepsiCo. Inc., are embracing the sustainability movement. Representatives will be speaking at Davis Auditorium in Sturm Hall on the DU campus Feb. 27, 4–6 p.m.

“Hearing how several of the most recognized brands in the world are making their businesses more sustainable is not only educational but potentially inspirational for our local movement,” says Charlie Coggeshall, 29, an MBA student atDaniels College of Business and co-president of Net Impact, the Daniels group hosting the event.

Net Impact is an international nonprofit group working to encourage new leaders to use business as a means to improve the world.

Appearing for Pepsi will be Tim Carey, director of sustainability and technology. Speaking for Wal-Mart will be Janelle Kearsley, director of corporate strategy/sustainability.

Wal-Mart is the world’s largest retailer with $345 billion in sales during the last fiscal year. The company has more than 4,000 facilities nationwide and operates 13 stores outside of the continental U.S.

PepsiCo products are available in almost 200 countries. The company operates on the stock exchange, earns more than $39 billion in revenue and employs more than 185,000 people.

“This event provides DU faculty, staff, students and the local community the opportunity to hear firsthand how several of the largest companies in the world are responding to sustainability,” Coggeshall says.

Wal-Mart launched sustainability initiatives in 2004, but has come under fire since then by groups such as Wal-Mart Watch, a nationwide public education campaign designed to influence change in the company’s business practices. The group has questioned the company’s commitment to the environment. In a white paper, “It’s Not Easy Being Green: The Truth about Wal-Mart’s Environmental Makeover,” the group criticized the company’s land use and construction policies.

Pepsi released a broad environmental policy in March 2006. Since then, it has come under criticism from groups that include the Natural Resources Defense Council, which favors use of tap water over bottled water because it’s better for the environment.

Coggeshall says he hopes the event will motivate people to make environmentally positive changes in their lives.

“I hope people are inspired to seek their own innovative solutions to leading a more sustainable life … [and] take some sense of optimism for the direction of our future,” Coggeshall says.

Those planning to attend the event are asked to RSVP.

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