Activists Say Walmart's Environmental Policies Incomplete | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Activists Say Walmart's Environmental Policies Incomplete

Play associated audio
Spokesmen for Walmart say the company is committed to sustainability, but D.C. environmental activists have doubts about the company's practices.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/alphageek/461478899/
Spokesmen for Walmart say the company is committed to sustainability, but D.C. environmental activists have doubts about the company's practices.

As Walmart moves forward with plans for six D.C. stores, some activists say the company is "greenwashing" the truth about its environmental impact.

Walmart spokesperson Steven Restivo disputes that, saying sustainability is a top priority for the corporation. "In 2005, we really set three broad sustainability goals," says Restivo. "They are to be 100 percent supplied by renewable energy, sell zero waste and to sell products that sustain people and the environment."

He says Walmart has completed more than 100 renewable energy projects, and eliminated 80 percent of the waste from its California operations. He says the D.C. stores will promote local produce and encourage mass transit. He says they have made a $2 million commitment that includes bus stops, bus shelters, bike stands.

But Stacy Mitchell, a senior researcher with the nonprofit Institute for Local Self Reliance, says setting goals is easy. Achieving them is not.

"There are some very serious environmental issues that Walmart isn't addressing," says Mitchell. "The impact on the landscape, the amount of sprawl, and the long distances the products are shipped and the pollution associated with it."

She says the corporation uses promises about sustainability to divert attention from its labor practices.

Meanwhile, Chris Weiss, executive director of the D.C. Environmental Network, says he’s worried about Walmart's impact on the local environment: "You’re talking about stormwater, polluted stormwater, that will fall on these buildings and end up in the Anacostia water. You’re talking about a large amount of energy use. And just generally consumption -- the promotion of a very high level of consumption."

He's calling on Walmart to develop a climate action plan for its D.C. stores.

NPR

Women Can't Make Sushi, And Other Fishy Myths, Busted

Sushi is supposed to be eaten at room temperature and right after it's made. So why are we buying out of the cold case at the supermarket? And where are all the female sushi chefs?
NPR

Women Can't Make Sushi, And Other Fishy Myths, Busted

Sushi is supposed to be eaten at room temperature and right after it's made. So why are we buying out of the cold case at the supermarket? And where are all the female sushi chefs?
NPR

War Votes Bring Back Complex Risks For Members Of Congress

Polls showed that two-thirds of the country thought the U.S. should do something about Islamic State. Congress had to balance politics of the moment with those of the near future and down the road.
NPR

Retailers' Customers Cautioned As Cyber Attacks Continue

Home Depot says some 56 million card holders were possibly compromised in a cyber attack. It says there's no evidence that debit PIN numbers were comprised or that the breach affected online shoppers.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.