Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Are claims Walmart green simply greenwashing?

Tuesday, April 01, 2014
In 2005 as atmospheric CO2 to 379 parts per million and Walmart ascended to public approval rating to historic lows dropped, the company's then CEO Lee Scott has a dramatic announcement. "Each company has a responsibility to reduce greenhouse gases, as soon as possible", explains Scott. He promised then Walmart would shift to 100 percent of renewable energy and become a leader on sustainability.

Nine years later, atmospheric CO2 passed 400 parts per million. Walmart is exposed to even more criticism over its labor practices. And despite producing a steady stream of solar-panel photo opportunity and press releases on the subject of sustainability, Walmart greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever before. Today, Walmart only 4 percent of the electricity for the U.S. stores by its wind manages contracts and solar power plants.

What happened? The short answer is that the extent of Walmart renewable energy efforts not nearly the scope of the business activity of the company. As the Institute for local self-reliance in a recent report documented, Walmart expanded investments in sustainability just far enough to not change his public image, so far, their business model and their impact on the planet.

Walmart progress in renewable energy is especially pathetic if you are other retailers. Staples, Kohl's, and whole foods, along with many small businesses have already passed the 100 per cent renewable energy brand. Starbucks and McDonald's are also far ahead of Walmart.

In fact, Walmart renewable electricity consumption reached in 2011 and has declined since then. In his 2013 global responsibility report explains the company's demise: "Walmart U.S. was not able to renegotiate an expiring contract [renewable energy] with competitive pricing." Last week, Walmart reported that it pays less for its renewable energy than the cost of conventional electricity.

In other words, WalMart as a leader on the environment would be considered although it has refused to invest in sustainability beyond what pure profit maximization with them would bring. It is not for lack of cash also: Walmart had $17 billion in profit last year. The Walton family, which owns half of Wal-Mart shares, is supposed to be $145 billion.

Walmart global greenhouse gas emissions are since their 2005 climate Declaration grew 14 percent. Even more disturbing is the fact that in the reporting of climate footprint, Walmart not large and rapidly growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions activities taken into account. For example, international freight forwarding, ignored even though it one the largest shipper on the planet with imports in the growing United States 247 per cent since 1990. According to the International Maritime Organization is ocean shipping exploding contribution to climate change. Walmart is not yet on this issue.

Perhaps the most important with regard to all Walmart impact on the politics of climate change is. Walmart is one of the largest providers of corporate campaign in the country and there are the bulk of his money (more than $3.6 million in the year 2012-cycle) to lawmakers regularly towards the voices. In 2008, 80 percent of the campaign contributions was Walmart Senate to Senators, that the Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade bill blocked. 69 percent of Walmart Federal Republic posts wanted in the year 2012 lawmakers, who voted for the keystone XL pipeline.

As corporate sustainability, slipper, in an article last year argued experts Auden Schendler and Michael "companies that claim to be green, but do not loudly heard on the need for action the Government on climate change missing the point are." You are the central challenge of sustainability not only Dodge; "They're distracting to us what really matters."

So, like Walmart so far escaped accountability for its environmental claims has? Skillful public relations, mixed with just enough real action is part of the answer. The other is that the ecological community initially was Walmart room to again make good on promise is. It starts, but change. Inspired by Walmart - workers who have led an unprecedented series of strikes and actions against the company in recent months, environmentalists are now forces in the Walmart to change his habits call candidate.

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