For Immediate Release:
April 20, 2012
WALMART THREATENS NYC’S ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRESS AND GREEN DEVELOPMENT
WalmartFreeNYC Calls on “Green” Mayor Bloomberg and “Green” Developer Related Companies to Withdraw Support for Walmart, Following Revelations of Walmart’s Devastation of the Environment
New York, New York-Seizing on powerful evidence found in Top 10 Ways Walmart Fails on Sustainability, a new joint report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Food &Water Watch, WalmartFreeNYC today warned in advance of Earth Day that Walmart stores in New York City would undermine the sustainability initiatives of the Bloomberg administration and mega-developer the Related Companies.
Pointing out that the scope and magnitude of Walmart’s failures would jeopardize initiatives associated with PlanNYC and green development, WalmartFreeNYC called on Mayor Bloomberg and Related Companies CEO Steven Ross to withdraw support for Walmart as New Yorkers celebrate Earth Day this weekend.
The Top 10 report has evidence showing that Walmart’s negative environmental impact has worsened in recent years: the company is selling more low-quality and harmful products, multiplying its volume of waste and pollution, lagging on renewable energy, increasing greenhouse gas emissions, consuming more land, bankrolling anti-environment candidates, industrializing the food system, undermining local producers, and harming the economic health of workers in many communities around the country. What is revealed here builds upon a similar recent study, Walmart’s Greenwash, released in March.
“With such far-reaching failures on sustainability, including financial support for climate change deniers, Walmart is already undermining Bloomberg’s environmental reforms, and Ross’s green developments,” said Stephanie Yazgi, director of Walmart Free NYC. “Bloomberg and Ross should stand up to Walmart.”
Mayor Bloomberg laid out an ambitious sustainability agenda on Earth Day in 2007 called PlaNYC. One of his biggest PlaNYC achievements since then, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 12%, would be at risk if Walmart entered the city, because Walmart’s greenhouse gas emissions are rising: “Between 2005 and 2009, Walmart’s reported emissions in the U.S. grew by roughly 7 percent. The company says its operations produced 21 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2009, and it expects 13 million metric tons of cumulative growth in emissions by 2015,” according to Walmart’s Greenwash.
In 2008, Mayor Bloomberg launched as part of PlaNYC “one of the most comprehensive and inclusive strategies ever launched to secure a city’s critical infrastructure against the effects of climate change” and yet Walmart has funded climate change deniers. Some of Walmart’s largest political donations have gone to powerful climate-change deniers. Since 2005, Walmart’s PAC has given $25,000 to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio (“the idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical”; $30,000 to Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. (“there isn’t any real science to say we are altering the climate path of the earth”; and $29,500 to Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark, according to Walmart’s Greenwash.
Meanwhile, the Related Companies, which has reportedly been in talks with Walmart about leasing space in New York City, is a national leader in green development. The mega-developer has been honored by the United States Green Building Council for developing some of the first green buildings. According to its own vision statement, the Related Companies “will lead the market in environmentally-conscious real estate development and operations and will be at the forefront of sustainable industry.”
“If New York City wants to sustain a high quality of life for working people, residents, and local communities, Walmart cannot open stores here. Walmart has a proven record of destroying the environment, job quality, retail industry standards, and businesses. The great destroyer of our time takes away far more than it ever gives or creates, and that’s why we continue to oppose Walmart,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), UFCW.
“Walmart uses it’s dominance in the marketplace to impose unsustainable practices on food producers,” said Eric Weltman, Senior Organizer for Food & Water Watch in New York. “If allowed in New York City, Walmart would undermine efforts to create a healthier and more fair food system. Walmart has sent mailers to city residents featuring images of organic apples, but there’s nothing healthy or appetizing about what the company really stands for.”