I'd like to start this post off by stating that I was not requested to write this, nor does any company mentioned even know I was going to write it.
I pride myself on making green choices for my family, and with this comes the attempt to shop at green stores. Kohl's, for one, is quite the green store. It has many green practices in place, and has currently been carbon neutral for FIVE YEARS! (Carbon neutrality is removing as much carbon from the atmosphere as you put out.)
I love Kohl's. I always have, and probably always will.
One company I don't have the highest opinion of is Walmart. That's not to say individuals working there are not good, and that's not saying anything to the effect of pay for employees. I'm only looking at environmental things here.
This is where I encountered a surprise. I was doing some digging on Walmart and their green policies, and I found out they are actually pretty darn green. They have pretty strict standards for their suppliers, and some interesting initiatives on cutting out needless packaging and plastic bag waste in some of their international locations (that link goes to Japan).
The biggest factor I seem to encounter when I saw/heard discussions about Walmart and being green would be greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Obviously GHG emissions are super important, and Walmart has very aggressive goals in place like 100% renewable energy, and zero waste
Sooo, what's the problem here? Well, their emissions. The numbers have only increased in the last few years (see chart in link). That's the thing, though... so have the number of stores (see bubble chart image in link).
Walmart's emissions include emissions in their supply chain, which makes sense... but it has been growing. Walmart has opened new stores and purchased new stores (like Seiyu, in Japan, which became Walmart owned in 2008).
If you have 10 stores, and these stores reduce carbon emissions, your emissions go down. If you have 10 stores that reduce emissions, but you purchase 10 stores (regardless of what their emissions are), your emissions go up.
All this being said, I still have a ways to go to be convinced of Walmart actually being green on a whole... but considering the company has gone from a bit over 5,000 stores in 2006 to over 10,000 stores at present, I'm also not going to assume they aren't trying.
I have to admit, though, I sort of loved to hate Walmart. I am a bit bummed that I like them a little more than I did. (This still doesn't mean I'm a fan, though.)
Disclaimer: Thoughts of Fluff was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own and may differ from your own.