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The director of logistics at Walmart Canada, was developing plans for a new distribution centre in Alberta. Senior management had presented her with a challenge: why not build the most sustainable distribution centre in the world? Yet, much remained unclear about how to translate this challenge into specific actions, while keeping in mind corporate goals for sustainability. Her team now was exploring three options that promised to be significantly greener: hydrogen fuel cells for forklift trucks, LED lighting and renewable energy generation from on-site wind turbines. Any investment in these sustainable technologies had to make business sense, and any decision could dramatically affect the distribution centre’s operating performance.
·Encourage students to explore how sustainability can be translated into specific investments within a key segment of the supply chain. ·Prompt students to consider strategic questions about how sustainability at a distribution centre can contribute simultaneously to corporate sustainability goals and operational excellence.