Get Over It: Wal-Mart Sets a Green Example in Retailing


Greenwashing is a hot topic in retailing. Wal-Mart in particular is a flash point for most of the criticism. But the truth is that Wal-Mart is ahead of the curve, especially compared to other retailers. It may be that no large retail organization is perfectly clean green. Strong responses to the May 20th RIS Executive News Brief story focused on Wal-Mart being an eco-friendly role model instead of a carbon abuser.

Newsletter reader Ted McCaffrey of ADT has been doing a lot of research about sustainability efforts over the past couple of years. In his research, he points out that even environmentalists find that Wal-Mart is an eco-friendly leader. In regard to the Wal-Mart Greenwashing blog that RIS noted in the May 20 newsletter, McCaffrey notes that the blogger "is throwing the world's largest retailer under the bus" and that this research may not be sound.

The blogger noted that Wal-Mart should provide its customers with more organic foods, but McCaffrey points out that for U.S. farmers this is a hot button issue that has caused quite a stir over the past couple of years. The farming industry is worried about negative consequences that can arise from large corporations that begin to sell organic foods.

In another point, the blogger notes that Wal-Mart should only utilize solar energy. However, McCaffrey notes Wal-Mart has been very aggressive with installing solar panels. Wal-Mart initially launched a solar and wind sustainable design to power its stores back in 2005.

McCaffrey made many other points, but you can read the original stories below. Do you believe Wal-Mart is a role model for greenwashing or eco-friendly stewardship? Send us an e-mail with your view.

For more information on Wal-Mart and greenwashing, read the following stories:

Wal-Mart Makes Sustainability Part of its Corporate Culture

Wal-Mart: The Next Steps Toward Sustainability

Wal-Mart Launches Web-Based Innovation Tool To Drive Sustainability Progress

Wal-Mart's "Company of the Future" Supply Chain

Wal-Mart's Sustainable Packaging Scorecard Begins

For related stories read the following:

Greenwash vs. Clean Green: Top Retailers Exposed

-Christina Zarrello


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