Thursday, September 30, 2010

Good News on Walmart

Two articles caught my eye in a 24 hour span about, of all things, Walmart taking steps to be green. Greenwashing? Maybe. Probably. Still, I have to say it looks good. Tell me what you think in the comments.

The first is an article on the NRDC's website (and in their magazine) about Walmart being part of a group trying to set up a "sustainability index" on the products they sell. A quote: "In July 2009 Walmart invited 1,000 suppliers, associates, and sustainability experts to a ‘Milestone Meeting’ at which the company introduced its vision of a sustainability index and, as a matter of course, announced plans to eliminate 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the products it sells worldwide by 2015. ‘Sales used to be the metric,’ declared John Fleming, Walmart's chief merchandising officer. But going forward, the bottom line would be linked to a concept Fleming called ‘product life-cycle management’ -- which means following a food product from farm to fork, tabulating every input that went into its production and every emission generated along the way."

The second is an article noting that Walmart is installing solar panels on the roofs of up to 30 stores in California and Arizona in hopes of generating 20-30% of the power they use from the sun. No word on how cost effective the solar arrays are- probably not very! All the more reason to see this as a legitimate investment in the environment. Great to have the big players on board!

Update 10/7/10: Lest you think Walmart might actually be turning over a new leaf, here's an article in today's Sun about pressure exerted by the retail giant against living wage legislation. Life is no fun when you have to actually pay your workers a decent wage, I guess!

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