Five Percent: Conserve Energy

Climate Change Is Important: Energy Conservation is the First Step


February 4, 2009

WalMart: Environmental Hero (recovering villain?)

Category: Companies,Save Fuel,Sustainability,Transportation – Tom Harrison – 12:45 pm

wmlogoHow it pains me to say this, but WalMart, indeed corporations as a whole, may not be villainous scalawags. At least not completely.

WalMart has beaten their goal of reducing its internal goals of increasing fleet efficiency by 25% in three years. And with the introduction of a fleet of new hybrid and not-just-diesel fueled trucks, they claim they’re on the way to their goal of doubling fleet efficiency, right through to (drum roll) sustainability.

Well damn, I am as cynical as they get, but even I can see that this is a pretty great thing. And I take credit. No, not full credit, but all of those of us who formerly reviled WalMart for their environmental turpitude guilt-ed them into helped them understand that they were leaders and what they do matters. A lot. Michael Moore and his ilk might have had a little more influence than I, but I am in better shape.

Oh, sure, WalMart still treats their employees like crap, and sell stuff that is of low quality, greatly favoring countries who don’t have very high any standards for treatment of factory workers. And yes, they encourage us to buy junk we don’t need by offering it at a price that drives local and regional businesses out, and which tends to eliminate our choices (and what remains of our humanity).

But having said that, a force as large as WalMart could be as large as one of our largest states (California, for example) influencing how vehicle manufacturers who want to do business build their fleets. (Note to self: research why a paragon of badness can get away with arbitrarily deciding vehicle efficiency standards while a state like California and 12 others gets flack from bailed-out GM, et al)

Ok, well that’s about as much praise as WalMart’s getting from me. Today, at least.

Bottom line: well done!

(Actual bottom line: we’re watching you)

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