Green Innovation from the Inside Out

by Braden Kelley

Adam Werbach used to rail against Wal-Mart when he was the president of the Sierra Club, but now they are his biggest client. Has Adam Werbach sold out by putting his heart and soul into helping the retail giant find ways to be more green?

Fast Company has a nice article examining this change in strategic direction for Adam Werbach, who some might call the “great green hope.” Personally, I believe that Werbach has an opportunity to achieve a far greater impact on the environment in working directly with Wal-Mart than as the president of the Sierra Club. Why?

Working as president of the Sierra Club, he would primarily be engaged in working to maintain, or possibly increase charitable donations to the organization, setting strategic direction for the organization, influencing operations, and working to sway public, government, and corporate opinion. Working with Wal-Mart he has the opportunity to create innovative programs and initiatives, see their effects across possibly thousands of stores, and to engage the corporate giant in meaningful dialog as a partner instead of an antagonist. Plus, his leaving the Sierra Club could result in no loss to the green movement because the new guy or gal may be just as good, or possibly even better at furthering the Sierra Club’s mission.

Has Adam Werbach increased or decreased his contribution to the green movement? What do you think?

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