Wal-Mart to educate employees on environment and health

Retail leviathan Wal-Mart, anxious to be the eco-friendliest big-box chain around, is developing a program to teach employees how to care for themselves and the environment. Anonymous sources say the as-yet-unveiled plan, tentatively named the Environmental Health and Wellness Program, will give employees practical advice, like using energy-efficient light bulbs (which Wal-Mart carries!) and eating more fish for health benefits (mercury be damned!). The program is part of an effort to push down the company’s health-care spending; Wal-Mart’s 1.3 million U.S. employees — the largest workforce in the nation — have higher rates of heart disease and diabetes than the general public. The company has asked former Sierra Club President Adam Werbach to come on as a consultant (negotiations are ongoing). In a 1997 book, Werbach compared Wal-Mart’s growth to a “virus, infecting and destroying American culture.” At least they want to be an eco-friendly virus!

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