Waste Management’s new direction
FORTUNE — Reusable grocery bags. Online media. Concentrated laundry detergent in small packages. All are good for the environment because they reduce waste, but they’re a threat to the business of collecting and disposing of garbage. No wonder executives at Waste Management (WM, Fortune 500), America’s biggest trash hauler, got nervous when Subaru’s TV commercials boasted that its Indiana auto plant sent nothing to the landfill. Or when Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500) embraced the idea of zero waste. In a world where people throw less stuff away, the future of a traditional garbage company looks bleak.
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