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Statement in Response to Wal-Mart’s Announced Eco-Label Program for Products

| Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 16, 2009 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at

Statement from Stacy Mitchell in response to Wal-Mart’s announcement that it will attempt to create an eco-label program for products:

“By keeping the focus of its sustainability efforts on suppliers, Wal-Mart continues to distract attention from the enormous — and growing — environmental impact of its own business model and operations.

  • As Wal-Mart has expanded, squeezing out small neighborhood and downtown retailers, the number of road miles Americans log for shopping has shot up more than 40%, resulting in 100 billion additional miles on the road each year over 1990 levels and more than 40 million metric tons of added carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Thanks to a retail business model that favors overseas production and long-distance transport, global shipping of goods has been expanding much faster than the world’s economic output and is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Wal-Mart continues to pave thousands of acres of undeveloped land each year for new stores, despite the fact that, in most of the markets where Wal-Mart is expanding, there are extensive tracks of previously developed land, including thousands of vacant strip malls and empty big-box stores, that could be redeveloped.”

Stacy Mitchell is a senior researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and author of Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers.

About Stacy Mitchell

Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and directs its Community-Scaled Economy Initiative, which produces research and analysis, and partners with a range of allies to design and implement policies that curb economic consolidation and strengthen community-rooted enterprise.  She is the author of Big-Box Swindle and also produces a popular monthly newsletter, the Hometown Advantage Bulletin.  Connect with her on twitter and catch her TEDx Talk: Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better Economy. More

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