Has Wal-Mart bitten off more than it can chew?

07/1/2010 | Harvard Business Review online

Wal-Mart's high-profile effort to reduce its carbon emissions by 20 million metric tons effectively constitutes "a blunt form of regulatory vigilantism," writes Bob Lurie. It's great that Wal-Mart wants to go green, Lurie writes, but by dragging its suppliers into its environmental effort the retail giant risks forcing companies to adopt business models that aren't targeted at any specific, consumer-driven demand. "Regulation on the scale and scope Wal-Mart is pursuing -- usually carried out by governments -- often carries with it unintended consequences," Lurie notes.

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