No one can tell China what to do! They're an autonomous nation with a proud history and an unquenchable desire to pull themselves up by their bootstraps...international regulations be-damned!
Oh...that is, unless it's Wal-Mart doing the asking.
Next fall, Wal-Mart will meat with thousands of Chinese suppliers, and give each of them little hints about how (and why) to go green. Their first priorities will be waste disposal and greenhouse gas emissions. But they're also hoping to spread initiatives that they began in the U.S., like asking suppliers to reduce the amount of packaging they use, and pressuring them to build electronics that are more efficient and easier to recycle.
Of course, the task is enormous. Every supplier has to be monitored and inspected sepeartely. Wal-Mart is already partnering with a large consulting firm and several NGOs to help in the greening of China.
Welcome to the future. There's no way to regulate anyone, except through the power of the world's biggest buyers. If they're going to be the international government...then at least we can be happy that they've got the environment on their list of concenrs.
written by Cat Laine, March 21, 2008
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