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.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."
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.
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