In the early '90s I was first editor of the Municipal Edition of Recycling Today and was later promoted to Executive Editor of the Recycling Media Group. (A few years later I helped launch and served as Senior Editor for the Crain Communications startup Waste News.) In those roles I had occasion to speak with and interview on the record many national figures in the environmental movement. While I think the odds good that I crossed paths with Fred Krupp, the head of The Environmental Defense Fund, more than once, I do not have specific memories of him. Naomi Klein, however, has a more intimate knowledge of Krupp and the EDF, give them no less than two dozen mentions, several running multiple pages, in her masterwork: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. One of those examinations, spanning pages 208-210, focuses on the relationship, fueled by more than $65 million, among Walmat, the EDF and the Walmart Family Foundation. Klein writes:
The Environmental Defense Fund has always insisted that it does not take donations from the companies with which it forms partnerships---that, writes EDF vice president for strategy and communications Eric Pooley, "would undermine our independence and integrity." But the policy doesn't bear much scrutiny. For instance, one of the EDF's flagship partnerships is with Walmart, with whom it collaborates to "make the company more sustainable." And it's true that Walmart doesn't donate to the EDF directly. However, the Walton Family Foundation, which is entirely controlled by members of the family that founded Walmart, gave the EDF $65 million between 2009 and 2013. In 2011, the foundation provided the group with nearly 15 percent of its funding. Meanwhile, Sam Rawlings Walton, grandson of Walmart founder Sam Walton, sits on the EDF's board of trustees (identified merely as "Boatman, Philanthropist, Entrepreneur" on the organization's website.) The EDF claims that it "holds Walmart to the same standards we would any other company." Which, judging from Walmart's rather dismal environmental record since this partnership began---from its central role in fueling urban sprawl to its steadily increasing emissions---is not a very high standard at all.
More to follow tomorrow in WALMART IS GREEN, GREENBACK GREEN: II... Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

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