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:
Now that its former president, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, has moved on to become director of the Office of Management and Budget and is busy sending out the official memos starting the government shutdown, the Walmart Foundation has named a new president: Kathleen McLaughlin, a senior partner at McKinsey and Co. She starts October 15.
Remember Walmart’s “Buy American” campaign back in the 80’s? In 1992, a shocking Dateline NBC report on the campaign caused a PR disaster for the company. The show reported that Walmart had in fact sharply increased foreign imports during the campaign, that Walmart suppliers in Asia were using child labor, and that company stores had misleadingly labeled foreign-made garments as Made in America.
Walmart announced yesterday that former Bush administration official Dan Bartlett will replace Leslie Dach as the company’s spin-master/image-polisher (er, we mean “executive vice president of corporate affairs”). Dach was hired back in 2006 to run a campaign to clean up Walmart’s reputation, make it seem like a friendlier, cuddlier corporate citizen, and build bridges with Democrats. In other words, he’s been an extremely busy man for the last seven years and may need a vacation.