Organic Consumers Association

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March 2012 Report: Walmart's Greenwash

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Minneapolis, MN - In a report released today, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance documents how Walmart's heavily promoted sustainability initiatives are falling short. The report, "Walmart's Greenwash", examines all aspects of the major retailers environmental impact to see how sustainable Walmart really is.

"Walmart's sustainability campaign has done more to improve the company's image than to help the environment," said Stacy Mitchell, the report's author and a senior researcher at ILSR. Since Walmart unveiled its sustainability campaign in 2005, the number of Americans with an unfavorable view of the company has fallen by nearly half, from 38 to 20 percent.

The report's key findings include:

- At its current pace, Walmart will need roughly 300 years to reach its goal of 100 percent renewable energy. As of 2011, Walmart was deriving only 2 percent of its U. S. electricity from its wind and solar projects.

- Walmart's greenhouse gas emissions are increasing rapidly. Its energy efficiency and renewable projects are too modest to match the scale of the company's operations.

- Walmart's price pressure on manufacturers is undermining the quality and durability of consumer goods, which has contributed to a sharp increase in the amount of stuff Americans buy and a doubling of the trash households generate.

- Walmart has not addressed the habitat and climate impacts of its land development practices. The retailer continues to build sprawling stores on undeveloped land, often just a few miles from older, vacated Walmart stores. 
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