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The Crumbling of Old Green
The environmental movement is splitting into two factions, a progressive element willing to transcend traditional boundaries to achieve real gains and those who remain rooted in old ideologies and who view challenges to tradition as treason.

Former Sierra Club president Adam Werbach has taken the unorthodox step of working with Wal-Mart to improve the company’s environmental performance. Werbach is not alone in working with the retailer to achieve positive change. Environmental icon and MacArthur Fellowship recipient Amory Lovins also advises Wal-Mart. Environmental Defense has gone so far as to open “an office in Bentonville to work more effectively with the company” on a non-compensated basis.

Instead of supporting their former President’s efforts to transform environmental awareness and practices at the world’s largest retailer, Sierra Club officials “begged him to reconsider.” More ominously, Mr. Werbach has been threatened and “has stopped speaking in public without special security.”

While the traditional environmental establishment prefers to preserve their supposed moral purity and demonize those who challenge the status quo, committed environmentalists and companies are both a changing. Werbach and Wal-Mart are working to “make sustainability personal” through the Personal Sustainability Project (PSP). Some stores “are so enthusiastic they have developed store-level PSPs and community-wide PSPs. The strategy is to spread PSP practices virally through the Wal-Mart ecosystem and beyond.” Instead of spreading environmentalism, the Sierra Club prefers to bemoan the betrayal of their dying anti-corporate ideals.

See Fast Company article

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