WASHINGTON — The national environmental advocacy group Environmental Defense is adding a new position in Bentonville, Arkansas, to coordinate to group’s work with Wal-Mart. At Wal-Mart’s invitation, Environmental Defense has been advising the company on environmental issues for about one year.
“Wal-Mart’s impact on the national economy is almost beyond calculation. Every week, 175 million Americans shop at Wal-Mart. If Environmental Defense can nudge Wal-Mart in the right direction on the environment, we can have a huge impact,” said David Yarnold, Executive Vice President of Environmental Defense. Yarnold noted that Wal-Mart has pledged to dramatically improve its environmental performance and that “in working with the company over the past year, we’ve concluded that Wal-Mart is making a sincere effort to do a better job of protecting the environment.”
“One reason we are putting a staff position in Bentonville is that we’ve discovered that when Wal-Mart makes important decisions, the company moves very quickly. If you are not at the table, you don’t get a chance to influence those decisions. By having an office in Bentonville, we’ll help assure that the environment is represented,” said Yarnold.
Yarnold also noted that “Wal-Mart can have a ripple effect through the whole economy by demanding better environmental performance from its suppliers. By challenging itself and its supply chain, we really believe that Wal-Mart can create a race to the top for environmental benefits.”