Big Box Industry

 

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Companies at the top are the best, at the bottom the worst.

company
overall
ranking
environ-
ment
human
rights
labor
ethics &
governance
health &
safety
1

n/i

n/i

C

C-

n/i

2

n/i

n/i

D

C

n/i

3

C-

D

n/i

F

n/i

4

C

n/i

F

D

D

5

C-

n/i

F

F

F

6

D

n/i

F

F

F

Notes: Rankings proceed from top to bottom with companies at the top as more responsible within the industry and those at the bottom as the less responsible. Letter grades go in this order: A (best),B,C,D,F(worst) with plus (+) and minus (-). "n/i" means we don't have enough information to give a letter grade for that category. The color coding is another corporate responsibility indicator, in the order Green (best), Yellow, Orange, Red (worst). Companies in the green zone are sustainable and working towards creating a greener planet (most industries will not have companioes in the green zone as there are no companies that can be considered sustainable in that industry). Companies red zone have poor environmental and social responsibility records and should be avoided if possible. 'Orange' companies are not quite as bad as 'red' and ' yellow' zone are slightly better than orange. Orange and yellow companies have a ways to go before they can be considered green.

Fast facts about the big box industry

  • The big box industry is comprised of large, bulk, warehouse retailers, most notoriously Wal-Mart, Target, and Kmart.
  • The “big-box” nature of the industry takes a toll on the environment and society by contributing to suburban sprawl.
  • Selling products such as wooden furniture made from trees from endangered rainforests, and gold whose mining destroys clean environments, harms workers, contaminates drinking water, and displaces communities reinforces the industry’s image as socially and environmentally negligent.
  • Wal-Mart, which has become both the face of big box retailers and of corporate irresponsibility, has been found guilty of violating federal and state wage laws by forcing employees to work unpaid overtime and child labor laws in the United States; Wal-Mart does not provide health insurance for its workers, forcing many to seek government assistance and costing taxpayers millions of dollars; Wal-Mart also closed a Canadian store whose workers were on the verge of becoming the first ever to win a union contract from the company.
  • Wal-Mart and the other big box stores have been accused of sourcing from overseas factories which operate under inhumane conditions and contribute to a long list of human rights violations such as human trafficking and involuntary servitude.
  • Take Action to end the environmentally destructive and socially irresponsible practices of big box stores. Visit Go Green to learn how you can find everything that you need without harming people or the planet.