Free lunchtime talk: Greening Walmart

You are invited to a free Lunchtime Soapbox talk entitled:

Walmart – how the world’s biggest corporation went deep green by Robert Zipplies

From being perceived as the major corporate villain, Walmart is now counted as an environmental leader. What brought about this profound change? This presentation offers a fascinating insight into why the world’s largest corporation decided to embark on the green journey and how they are going about it.

Robert Zipplies

If Walmart were a country, it would be the 17th largest economy – roughly on par with Switzerland and Sweden. With more than 2 million employees and over 100,000 suppliers, Walmart’s progress is now setting a global benchmark for sustainability performance in the corporate sector and provides an indication of how profoundly corporate attitudes towards environmental issues have changed.

The case study, amongst other things, investigates:

  • the reasons for Walmart’s profound change,
  • how they developed their sustainability strategy and why they made it core to their business strategy,
  • what activities they are undertaking to green their operations and supply chain,
  • how they are working internally to change their culture, and
  • how they are collaborating with other stakeholders to enable their progress.

“It’s beyond encouragement – my challenge to you is to move sustainability to the front burner if you don’t already have it there.”
Mike Duke, Walmart CEO, addressing employees and suppliers in 2009.

This presentation will provide valuable insights and ideas for your sustainability strategy and activities.

Robert Zipplies consults independently to corporations wishing to deepen their sustainability commitment. He is the editor of the recently released book, Bending the Curve – Your guide to tackling climate change in South Africa and has been made an Indalo Yethu (South Africa’s Environmental Campaign) Eco-ambassador for his environmental work. He is a regular speaker on a range of sustainability-related topics, and is a board member of the climate change NGO, Project 90 by 2030. He has a BSc in Mechanical Engineering (UCT), an MSc in Industrial Engineering (Wits) and an MBA (Rotterdam).

A delicious and affordable (from R35) brown bag lunch will be on sale at the venue.

Date: Thursday 29 July

Time: 12:45 for 13:00pm

Venue: Lobby Books, Cape Town Democracy Center, 6 Spin Street

Contact: Andreas Spath at or 021 467 7606

Parking options:
Street parking in the area is safe and will cost you R4.50 per hour.
Parking garages open to the public in the area include:

  • Plein Park (Plein Street; to get to the entrance, turn off Plein Street into Barrack Street and then into Corporation Street).
  • Mandela Rhodes Place (entrance in Burg Street, off Wale Street)

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