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Trader Joe's Essay

1128 words - 5 pages

Trader Joe’s:

Environmental Risks Which Have Impacted the Company’s Business Operations

Peter R. Radulovic

BSNS 652 Sustainable Business Practices
EMBA – 2
Instructor: Dr. James L. Miles Sr.
August 7, 2011

Trader Joe’s consumer business operations have been chosen for evaluation since it sells specialty grocery items and merchandise to the general public. As a result of its unique business operations, Trader Joe’s faces many environmental issues or risks which may have an impact upon its business operations. Trader Joe’s located in Monrovia, California is a privately held chain of retail specialty food stores with approximately 361store locations in 29 states. Unlike ...view middle of the document...

The general feeling within the corporate culture of Trader Joe’s is that true genuine “green” environmentalism will undermine corporate policies and strategies and diminish profits. This has led to problems when it comes to stewardship responsibilities regarding the environment. Two environmental risks or areas of specific concern which have had an effect upon the company recently include Trader Joe’s environmental management system (Company Operations) and the question as to what types of substances and ingredients are contained in the products received from suppliers and whether or not they are toxic in nature (Upstream).
When it comes to environmental management systems, Trader Joe’s has been slow towards change; the general design theme of the majority of its stores reinforces uneven environmental considerations which some perceive as somewhat passive. The company suggests that its business model and corporate structure were designed specifically to avoid trying to make any political statements, while at the same time promote environmentally friendly products. “As much as the images well-reflect these intentions, they set up this archaic type of “limitless frontier” mentality that runs counter to environmentalism today and might make it difficult for comprehensive environmental plans to fit into their corporate scheme” (Lieberman, 2002, pg. 6).
When it comes to the question of what types of things are in Trader Joe’s products, the company’s environmental efforts include policies which promote the selling of a variety of naturally organically grown foods which have been grown with the sustainability of the environment in mind; although the company has made great strides with this endeavor, many believe that the company has not gone far enough since it prides itself on being the “neighborhoods unique green grocery store”. Trader Joe’s suggests that the reason that they have been slow to embrace a more aggressive movement in the area of sustainability is because the market for such products has been rather stagnant as of late and once the market demands more of these types of sustainable organic products, then they will increase the supply of them. “But as Sustainable Industries points out, it’s difficult to know how sustainable its operations really are — the company is “notoriously tight-lipped” about where its store-brand products come from” (Maestretti, 2010, para. 1).
To address these two very critical environmental risks, Trader Joe’s has taken great strides to improve both its environmental management systems and the transparency of the contents of its products. First, the company has taken the initiative to begin steps towards better systematic environmental management by considering creating an environmental...

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