Today Wal-Mart Stores convened a Green Jobs Council, a think tank/action group comprised of its 30 largest sustainability suppliers. The goal is to use the retailer’s diverse sustainability initiatives to spark the creation of jobs in areas of alternative energy, solid waste management, recycling and other endeavors related to store operations, construction, packaging and distribution.
It’s interesting to read what the council participants viewed as catalysts to green job growth, and what they flagged as barriers.
Catalysts: Government policies, executive leadership and market drivers (customer demand).
Barriers: Lack of a trained workforce and lack of access to capital.
If nothing else, large companies like Wal-Mart are ideal for this task. Other food retailers like Safeway, Kroger Co., Target and others are also up to the challenge. They have the clout, the manpower and the motive to start the change.
In fact, if you think about it, the current economic situation might be an ideal time to talk about the need for fundamental changes in the American workforce.