Mega-retailer Wal-Mart said last week that it’s partnered with The Cleantech Group to create a web portal on which companies and individuals can pitch their ideas as to how Wal-Mart might decrease its carbon footprint while at the same time helping its bottom line. The site, dubbed The Cleantech Accelerator Project, launched earlier this week.Interesting idea. I am curious to see how well it will work.
Wal-Mart (WMT), which announced the creation of the web portal at the Cleantech Forum in Toronto, is looking to continue cutting its operating costs by greening its business model. “We have the opportunity, we hope, to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy, to create zero waste and to sell products that sustain our resources and environment,” said Rand Waddoups, senior director of corporate strategy and sustainability. It is also a huge opportunity for green entrepreneurs, an open invitation for them to pitch their green startups to the largest retailer in the world.
To elicit more proposals, Waddoups explained, Wal-Mart is looking to “incentivize innovation” and will be offering itself as a guinea pig, GreenTechMedia reported.
This offers a new path for cleantech startups to search for funding. In addition to pitching business proposals to venture capitalists, entrepreneurs can go directly to a company who could put their green business practices into effect at thousands of locations all over the world. Removing the barriers to entry, Wal-Mart is inviting any and all to submit to its public web portal.