I have long been telling friends, family and pretty much anyone who will listen that small changes to our everyday habits will pave the road to a more sustainable future. Some people argue that small changes don’t make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things, but I finally have an example that can prove them wrong.
Walmart is a huge company, the scale of which most of us can only begin to fathom. What’s most powerful when a company like this takes a genuine approach to sustainability is that the impact of any changes they make for the better will be dramatically amplified.
Case in point: Their MSP program, introduced in detail at their March Sustainability Milestone Meeting.
MSP stands for My Sustainability Plan. It is a worldwide initiative to help the company’s associates connect with the idea of sustainability on a level that is meaningful to them. Simply put, MSP asks each of Walmart’s 2 million employees to commit to a single change to make their lives — and in many cases, the life of the planet — better.
One change. That’s it.
Some associates are working to reduce water usage. Others have pledged to change their eating habits. Still others have pledged to volunteer in their communities, reconnect with nature, or get active. Multiply those pledges by 2 million and what you have is a huge impact.
What makes this concept so palatable to me â€” and I’d suspect to many others â€” is that they aren’t asking people to make Earth-shattering changes. I don’t know a single person who can’t to improve (at least) one area of their life. The MSP program is just a little nudge to get folks going.
So while I could write about all the huge changes Walmart is making behind the scenes to reach their goals of zero waste and having all facilities powered by 100% renewable energy (which are both admirable goals), the MSP program has demonstrated that their commitment to sustainability is more than just a few lines to be glossed over in an annual report. It is a change in the company culture that is being encouraged from top to bottom.
Walmart is big. We know that. Walmart doesn’t have the best reputation. We know that too. But the point is that they are making very real improvements that have measurable impact. And I can’t help but get behind that idea and keep pushing them in the right direction.
If you’d like to see stories from real people at Walmart who are working to make a difference, be sure to check out the video of Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting!
Disclosure: I am a member of the Walmart Moms program. Walmart has provided me with compensation to share my take on their Sustainability Milestone Meeting. Participation is voluntary and as usual, all opinions are my own.