Sierra Club – Nov/Dec 2014
One of the things that makes greenwashing possible is the structure of the American media. Reporters have an instinctive affection for the unexpected or counterintuitive, so when the press release from Walmart arrives pledging to shift to 100 percent renewable energy and touting the solar panels on the roofs of some stores, it gets wide play. In slightly better circumstances, it gets the “on the one hand, on the other hand” treatment.
Stacy Mitchell and Walter Wuthmann at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance have delved deeper into Walmart’s energy use, which they recount in a new report, Walmart’s Dirty Energy Secret. The acclaimed solar panels and other renewable sources, they find, account for only 3 percent of the chain’s electricity use, and most of its rooftop solar is located in places that source little of their energy from coal.