In what is becoming a dramatic turn-around for a company that is severely criticized for its business practices, Wal-Mart is quickly setting some standards for corporate environmental sustainability. Don Henley of the band, The Eagles, tends to agree.
For a man whose father absolutely “hated the big chain stores”, Henley is supporting Wal-Mart — in large part due to the fact that you can only buy The Eagle’s new CD ‘The Long Run’ (the first one since 1979; though ’94’s ‘Hell Freezes Over’ had a few new tracks.) at the chain for the first 12 months of its release.
Of course, The Eagles are taking some heat for this — especially from those who see Wal-Mart as everything that’s wrong with America. Henley feels differently, “A lot of the people who have criticized us are obviously unaware of what Wal-Mart is doing in overhauling their operation,” he said, rattling off the company’s well-publicized initiatives to open eco-friendly “green stores,” reduce packaging and use its market share to pressure vendors into pursuing environmentally conscious approaches. “It’s easy to sit outside on the sidelines and throw rocks when you don’t know what’s going on, but if you’re going to change corporate America, then we have to get down in the dirt with them.”
Obviously, there’s also a lot of money in this deal for Wal-Mart to secure the band’s new album for one year. But Henley isn’t too far off the mark by praising Wal-Mart’s new initiatives. Sure, they’re still a giant box store that, to quote Jon Stewart, “takes everything good about your town out to the desert and burns it,” but their new policies and commitment to making internal changes is promising. I just hope a trickle-down effect for the rest of corporate America is in the music.
Hit the article for the rest of the story and some additional quotes from Henley.