by Michael dEstries
Categories: .

charles.jpgI’m not sure why Prince Charles decided to squeeze two important events into one day, but we’re writing again about a green development from across the pond. Last night, Charles hosted the 2007 London lecture of his Business & the Environment Programme (BEP). Who was the special guest? None other than H. Lee Scott, Chief Executive of US firm Wal-Mart.

I’m not one to shop at the big blue box, but I have to admit that their environmental actions lately have turned them into a different type of retail leader. Before introducing Scott, Prince Charles had these words to say, “As the leader of one of the world’s largest corporations, Mr Scott is in a position of extraordinary influence.

“Like other major international retailers, the decisions taken by his corporation can make a huge difference to our world – and indeed to humanity generally.”

“Now, ladies and gentlemen, of course I don’t need to tell any of you that true sustainable development is about far more than the environment alone. It is about building a society both now and for future generations in which the natural and social capital are in harmony.

“My point is that to achieve this we urgently need leaders who are willing to make the first move.

“If I may say so my challenge for each of you here tonight is ‘What are you going to be first at? Where can you, and your organisation, lead the way on sustainability?'”

Inspirational, right? Wal-Mart’s Scott did not disappoint as he introduced his company’s new environmental plan called “Sustainability 360” which ‘takes in our entire company – our customer base, our supplier base, our associates, the products on our shelves, the communities we serve,” said Scott. “And we believe every business can look at sustainability in this way. In fact, in light of current environmental trends, we believe they will and soon.”

We’re not sure is Charles is trying to make up for the his flight to the U.S. last week, but the article noted this particular interesting tidbit: “The Prince arrived at Banqueting House on foot after walking the short distance from Clarence House and walked back at the end of the event. ”

A politician without his SUV? What is the world coming to?

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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