Is Home Depot giving up on "Going Green" Strategies?

TreeHugger has been following the green initiatives at Home Depot, ranging from light bulbs to lumber, since 2004. As their sustainability report notes, "we continue to lead by example, demonstrating to the world that sustainability business practices are not only possible, they are good for business."

So it was surprising to see press release from something called the National Center for Public Policy Research with the headlines:

Home Depot Applauded for Opposing Extreme Green Regulations; Free-Market Advocates Commend Home Depot CEO Frank Blake for Pledge Not to Pursue Harmful 'Going Green' Strategies

From the press release:

Blake assured [National Center President] Ridenour at that time that Home Depot would not pursue green initiatives that may harm customers or the company's bottom line – a point he drove home when Ridenour met privately with Blake and members of the Home Depot executive team immediately following.

This would be pretty shocking, after years of Home Depot's active pursuit of green initiatives. Fortunately, Home Depot produced a transcript of its discussions with the National Center President and every word they say in the press release is pretty much a fabrication. Frank Blake actually said:

What we've found is a business is that very often sustainability is one of those issues where both the shareholders gain through our improved performance, as well as our communities and our society gains as we provide a better way of doing business and we're committed to that. We'll continue to be committed to that. I don't think in terms of division that you are suggesting between shareholder interest and sustainability, that is one we're very conscious of avoiding, we're very conscious of knitting those together, but thank you for your concerns.

RILA /Screen capture

Then the press release quotes a "groundbreaking paper" by a Dr. Bonner Cohen, that complains about the sustainability initiatives from the Retail Industry Leaders Association (Sustainability report here) that promote reduction of greenhouse emissions, better waste management and recycling, and " sustainability programs that drive business value, consumer and employee loyalty, and support a healthier planet."

The National Center has been going after Target, JC Penney, Bed, Bath and Beyond for belonging to RILA and supporting its sustainability measures. So who are these people? The name Bonner Cohen rang a bell and sure enough, he is one of the characters driving the Anti- Agenda 21 and anti-sustainability agenda. I wrote about him last year:

Bonner Cohen, according to Sourcewatch, ran EPA watch, which was funded by Philip Morris and accused the EPA of "everything from destroying the US economy to trying to stop people from taking showers." He was the sole director of The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition with his partner Steve Milloy of Junk Science fame. TASSC was funded by Amoco, Chevron, Dow Chemical, Exxon, General Motors and many more. Cohen is also senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research, which received $ 445,000 from ExxonMobil.

Poor Home Depot President Blake is dealing with the same gang that promotes global warming denial and Agenda 21 conspiracy theory, attacks environmentalists, and pounces at the very mention of the word sustainability. Fortunately he appears to be ignoring them.

Read more about the National Center in Sourcewatch.

In other Agenda 21 News....

Elance/Screen capture

For what is declared to be a spontaneous grass-roots public campaign, the Agenda 21 conspiracy movement sure looks professional, right down to hiring writers to put stories together. A search on "Truth Deficit" turns up a website that claims "We are losing freedoms daily to local, state, and federal government regulation and laws as well as un-elected agencies, NGO’s, and the United Nations."

Tags: Agenda 21