Environmental activists from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Environmental Action published a piece in the Huffington Post this week on the current state of Walmart’s environmental efforts, nine years after then-CEO Lee Scott proclaimed that the world’s largest retailer would become a leader on sustainability. An excerpt:
Nine years later, atmospheric CO2 has passed 400 parts per million. Walmart is facing even more criticism over its labor practices. And, despite producing a steady stream of solar panel photo-ops and press releases on sustainability, Walmart’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever. Today, Walmart derives just 4 percent of the electricity for its U.S. stores from its wind contracts and solar installations.
What happened? The short answer is that the scale of Walmart’s renewable energy efforts are no where near the scale of the company’s operations. As the Institute for Local Self-Reliance documented in a recent report, Walmart’s investment in sustainability extends just far enough to change its public image, but not so far as to change its business model and its impact on the planet.
Read the whole thing here.