Wal-Mart Accelerates Move Toward "Ecological Intelligence"

A few weeks ago, I wrote a series of blog entries about Daniel Goleman's new book Ecological Intelligence.  

One of his main points, and the jumping-off place for my reflections on it, was his argument that it's possible to create product barcodes that tell consumers the true "ecological" cost of any given product. Only that, he argues, will prod consumers to begin thinking and acting green on the scale necessary to change the trajectory of climate change and ecological decline.

Apparently Wal-Mart agrees. The company announced that it will begin requiring all of its suppliers to include a full ecological history/cost analysis for all of its products, and in a form that consumers can use while they're standing in the store deciding what to buy.

The full report is in today's Wall Street Journal, but it's a subscription-only report, so I found this abbreviated version from another online sources here and here.

As Thomas Friedman point out in The World Is Flat, Wal-Mart isn't a store so much as it is a goods-delivery system, the largest one in the world. If it's prepared to demand that suppliers provide point-of-sale information on ecological costs/benefits/pricing, then we've taken one giant step toward the kind of "consumer revolution" that Goleman suggests is necessary.

Hey! I finally worked (an admittedly oblique) reference to the moon landing (fortieth anniversary coming right up) into my blog.