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.