Greenwash of the Week: Walmart’s ‘Epic’ Green Campaign


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Here we go again. Walmart is back in action trying to cover up the facts about its operations by promoting an environmentally-themed Twentieth Century Fox kids movie while pushing “green” products in its stores.

Coinciding with the home-video launch of the animated movie Epic – which is about a teenager, in a forest, participating in a battle between good and evil – Walmart will be promoting water filters, Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing, and Green Works products (talk about greenwash) to try to garner more preorders for the film’s DVD release this fall. If nothing else, Walmart knows how to pretend to be green, that’s for sure. And chances are, the majority of its customers don’t really care either way, as long as their is a discount in it for them.

Just how “green” is Walmart? While I have written many posts about this very subject, let’s take a look at a few “green” news stories Walmart’s name has been included in recently:

  • On May 28th, the company pleaded guilty to dumping hazardous waste in California and Missouri and agreed to pay more than $81 million in fines. That’s green.
  • Walmart continues touting its environmental cred by talking about renewable energy, but the truth is that the company gets just 2% of its energy needs from clean sources as of 2011. At that pace, it will need roughly 300 years to reach its goal of 100 percent renewable energy. That’s green.
  • Walmart continuously abandons buildings for even bigger buildings, leaving behind messes of concrete and steel for towns and cities to clean up. That’s green.
  • Walmart sells shoddy products, consumes land, finances anti-environment political candidates, and spreads poverty. That’s green.
  • Furniture sold at Walmart was made from wood illegally logged in protected habitats. They promised to stop selling products using the wood, but not until 2013.
  • Employees that do get more than part-time hours are encouraged to get publicly-funded healthcare because it saves Walmart money. In Massachusetts, this cost taxpayers nearly $9 million in 2009.

The only green Walmart is interested in is the kind residing in its patrons wallets. Don’t fall for it.

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  1. About a year ago, I was with family who wanted to stop at Walmart, I went along and figured I needed some toilet paper, might as well get it here. I never shop there btw, I searched and searched. Not one recycled roll were to be found in the store. I then followed my family through the store and noticed there were very few “green” options in the store. I was dismayed to say the least. There is nothing for me at their stores, they will not get one penny from my pocket.

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