Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Big companies can do big things

Slate has an interesting article about how Walmart is the by far the biggest player in the commercial rooftop solar market:
Big, mature companies often struggle to innovate and adapt to changing consumer demands, but Walmart's experience with solar and organic foods (and Home Depot's with sustainably-harvested lumber) show that big companies can also have a big impact, simply by virtue of their size. While it's entirely possible that Walmart is coming out ahead financially from these investments, the less-tangible benefits in the form of positive buzz and brand equity are surely a big driver of the push.

Additionally, Walmart is implicitly hedging against future policy action by governments, both national and regional, to combat climate change. Companies that proactively set themselves up to respond quickly to a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system (by investing in clean energy and acquiring talent) will very likely see themselves with an enviable competitive advantage.

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