Wal-Mart Shops for Green Cred

Critics skeptical as mammoth chain donates to eco groups, reduces energy use
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2007 6:16 AM CST
A customer leaves a Wal-Mart in Mountain View, Calif. in this Nov. 7, 2007 file photo. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Hoping to soften its image, Wal-Mart is going green, the Washington Post reports. The retail giant is now donating to environmental groups, improving its energy efficiency, and creating the first hybrid shipping truck. Yet some critics say it's a mere cover. "Wal-Mart is willing to spread its money wherever it thinks it can buy protection for its poor business practices," said one. 

Wal-Mart hired a public relations firm and pumped $2.5 million into a lobbying team this year as part of its bid to appear eco-friendly. But organizations like the Sierra Club say the company still forces shoppers to drive long distances and pushes jobs to countries with poor environmental regulations. Others support Wal-Mart's new green path. "You can change the trajectory," said one activist.