A Green Job... Working with Wal-Mart

According to the Wall Street Journal, Environmental Defense is "one of the hottest environmental groups around"; now the right person has the opportunity to join them. The organization has posted a job notice for a Corporate Partnerships Project Manager located in the new office in Bentonville, Arkansas. That's right -- ED wants someone, maybe you, to devote themselves professionally to working with Wal-Mart. While the retail behemoth has confounded many greens over the past year with announcement after announcement of plans to run a more sustainable corporation, Environmental Defense has been working with the company for over a year, and clearly sees potential in the relationship. The Project Manager will run the Bentonville office and "play a key role in challenging and advising Wal-Mart on their journey toward sustainability." FOT (Friend of Treehugger) Joel Makower claims that this job announcement represents a major shift in the relationship between environmental organizations and large corporations:
The job ... symbolizes a sea change in environmental activism. Environmental Defense is positioning someone in Bentonville -- not to confront or watchdog Wal-Mart, but to work with the company as a kind of sustainability consultant.

Suffice to say, this represents a sea change for Wal-Mart, too. For years, the retail giant stonewalled and fought its critics on a wide range of issues. It's still doing that in some instances, but it also has invited dozens of activists, academics, and advisors inside to help the company forge a more sustainable path.

This level of commitment also demonstrates that Environmental Defense believes there is real opportunity for change at Wal-Mart. In August, the organization's Executive Vice President David Yarnold noted, "...we've discovered that when Wal-Mart makes important decisions, the company moves very quickly. If you are not at the table, you don't get a chance to influence those decisions. By having an office in Bentonville, we'll help assure that the environment is represented."

We're encouraged. If you plan to apply, let us know. Apparently, this has been a tough position to fill, but ought to provide the challenge of a lifetime for the right person. ::Two Steps Forward and Environmental Defense