Skip to content
Grist home
Support nonprofit news

Articles by Alex Goldschmidt

Alex Goldschmidt is online editor at Wal-Mart Watch.

Featured Article


Photo: Lone Primate

Wal-Mart has been trying its hardest to distract its environmental critics. In a carefully orchestrated act of diversion, the company shows off its skylights and light bulb sales. In doing so, Wal-Mart has managed to draw attention away from the other, deeper environmental problems lying at the heart of the company’s business model.

Wal-Mart’s public relations efforts help hide the fact that despite all its talk, the company isn’t any greener than it was in 2005 when it laid out a series of company-wide environmental initiatives. The fact remains that Wal-Mart’s energy use is still rising. Until the company significantly reduces the amount of energy used to earn a dollar, its sustainability initiatives remain fundamentally flawed. Several aspects of the company’s basic business model hinder this kind of comprehensive change:

Land consumption and pollution. With the average Wal-Mart Supercenter the size of a football stadium, and parking lots often three times that size, each Wal-Mart store consumes massive amounts of land and the parking lots contribute to water pollution. Multiply that by o... Read more