Essay about Csr: Sustainability Practices- Walmart vs. Starbucks

Words: 1802
Pages: 8

“Sustainability: Actions Speak Louder Than Words”



The purpose of this work is to analyze the mission, values, and core competencies relating to sustainability and the Triple Bottom Line of the corporations Wal-Mart and Starbucks. By analyzing the key differences not only in their values, but the application of their stated values, they can then be judged as to the superiority of their systemic approaches to sustainability. In the case of these two companies, ethics are the most notable difference, which causes Wal-Mart to experience a myriad of dilemmas that Starbucks doesn’t. This key difference is important because “nearly any dilemma an organization faces can
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According to the same article, “Wal-Mart’s reputation remains the biggest obstacle to the company’s long-term growth potential” (Temple 2008).

In addition to having a much higher overall perception, Starbucks’ sustainability, specifically to the “people” portion of the Triple Bottom Line equation, is greatly more effective than Wal-Mart’s. This can be seen in the low turnover rates Starbucks enjoys, verses the astronomically high turnover rates Wal-Mart is burdened with. Starbucks for example enjoys a turnover rate that is less than a fifth of those in similar industries (CNBCMagazine 2011). This not only results in a more satisfied workforce, it is sound fiscal policy as well; Starbucks estimates the cost of replacing and retraining a barista at $3,000 each (CNBCMagazine 2011). Because of their ethical treatment of employees, “Starbucks has far lower turnover than the industry average by offering good compensation packages, work environments, and career paths” (Rein 2012). Wal-Mart conversely has a turnover rate of approximately 70% which not only indicates the severity of worker dissatisfaction, but surely costs the company untold amounts of money, not simply with regards to the cost of hiring and training new employees, but also in lost income from negative perceptions result from such a high turnover rate (

One final, though less tangible,