<a href="https://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/leon#">The Business of Green</a>

The Business of Green

Money matters in the green world, by Leon Gettler.

Switched on

light bulbs

Credit: iStockphoto

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Less than two weeks ago, Woolworths chief executive officer Michael Luscombe said the global downturn would take sustainability down the agenda and make it less of a priority.

He said:

"There's no doubt the current global financial situation has the potential to push major issues like climate change well down the list of political and business priorities. After all, for a publicly listed company like Woolies, my first duty is to create and safeguard shareholder wealth. But while the world's leaders focus on shoring up our homes, super funds and investments, sustainability is at risk of quietly slipping off the agenda."

Now Woolworths has announced (pdf here) it will phase out selling inefficient incandescent bulbs from November - one year ahead of the Government deadline.

Woolworths becomes the first big retailer to stop selling incandescent bulbs and it's a huge step for a company that sells 25 per cent of light bulbs in Australia.

So where does that leave Coles? At the moment, Coles' new owners Wesfarmers are trying to fix the retailer.

It has told investors it will take five years to do it because the model is fundamentally broken.

But retail analysts say Wesfarmers could make changes that would have a big impact on sustainability - like turning Coles into a leading cuber shopping specialist or upmarket seller of organic and natural foods