After the fascinating discussion about politics and the use of language to frame issues in this past Sunday's NYTimes Magazine, I guess I shouldn't be so surprised to see a Wal-Mart representative frame their newest store in Texas in this way:
"We see it as a next step in evaluating the impact we leave on the environment as we look toward smart growth and sustainability in the building of our new stores," said Mike Duke, executive vice president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores - USA. "This store will contain many of the best resource conservation and sustainable design technologies currently available to minimize the use of energy and natural resources."Here's what Wal-Mart is focusing on to make the store "sustainable:"
* Reducing the amounts of energy and natural resources required to
operate and maintain the stores
* Reducing the amount of raw materials needed to construct the facility.
* Substituting, when appropriate the amount of renewable materials used
to construct and maintain the facility.
Smart growth? Sustainable? Conservation? Minimize use of energy and natural resources? The most obvious breaches of those goals is the store is still new construction in the middle of nowhere, out of scale and off center.
Still, I don't want to be only the naysayer. It's good that they're monitoring the environmental impact of the store; stay tuned for more gooey factoids from this part of Texas. And this is a nuanced issue: check out the story about Vancouver rejecting a "green" Wal-Mart.