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The corporate sustainability realm has few conversations that do not eventually turn to Wal-Mart Stores. It’s nearly impossible to be neutral about the retail giant, whether it be over its impact on local business, procurement, employment and health care practices, prescription-drug offerings or its sustainability efforts that dig deep into the supply chain.
And so, it was fitting that Lee Scott, the former CEO who led Wal-Mart’s embrace of CSR, was a speaker Tuesday at the Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy’s Energy Innovation Summit. Sustainability is not necessarily a core part of every project ARPA-E helps fund, but each share the principles of improving on current practices, boosting efficiencies and succeeding economically.