business news in context, analysis with attitude

• It was reported over the weekend that Wal-Mart, often eviscerated by organized labor as being unfair and exploitive when it comes to its employees, was named one of Canada’s top 50 employers by Canada’s Report on Business magazine.

Wal-Mart was 34th on the list.

• The New York Times reports this morning on Wal-Mart’s “sweeping commitment” to energy conservation and its decision to push energy-saving light bulbs into at least 100 million US households.

“A compact fluorescent has clear advantages over the widely used incandescent light — it uses 75 percent less electricity, lasts 10 times longer, produces 450 pounds fewer greenhouse gases from power plants and saves consumers $30 over the life of each bulb,” according to the Times story. “But it is eight times as expensive as a traditional bulb, gives off a harsher light and has a peculiar appearance.

“As a result, the bulbs have languished on store shelves for a quarter century; only 6 percent of households use the bulbs today.

“Which is what makes Wal-Mart’s goal so wildly ambitious. If it succeeds in selling 100 million compact fluorescent bulbs a year by 2008, total sales of the bulbs in the United States would increase by 50 percent, saving Americans $3 billion in electricity costs and avoiding the need to build additional power plants for the equivalent of 450,000 new homes.”
KC's View:
When we get a chance, we’re going to go over to the local Wal-Mart and buy a few of these bulbs to convert every lamp in MNB World Headquarters to these energy-saving bulbs. Sounds like a cause we can embrace.