Whole Foods, Bed, Bath & Beyond Reject Tar Sands

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Will Craven, 415 407 3426, will@forestethics.org

Whole Foods, Bed, Bath & Beyond Reject Tar Sands

New guidelines affect refineries supplied by Canada’s Tar Sands

WASHINGTON - Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFMI) today announced its commitment to
stop buying transportation fuel linked to Canada’s Tar Sands. Bed Bath
& Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY) also released its new policy encouraging
transportation providers to avoid high impact fuels such as those from
refineries using Tar Sands.

Whole Foods and Bed Bath &
Beyond are the first companies to publicly reject the Tar Sands since
ForestEthics launched its US Tar Sands campaign in July 2009. The toxic
air and water pollution, deforestation and human health hazards
associated with the Tar Sands have alarmed corporate consumers such as
the Fortune 500. These companies represent a large part of US demand
for transportation fuel, the primary end-use for Tar Sands oil.

 “Today’s
announcement ends the Tar Sands industry’s hallucination that consumers
have no choice but to blindly purchase their fuel, even with its
nightmare environmental price tag,” said ForestEthics Executive
Director Todd Paglia. “Whole Foods and Bed, Bath and Beyond have
confirmed that Canada’s dirty Tar Sands oil represents a brand risk too
great to ignore.”

Tar Sands oil production generates 3-5 times
the greenhouse gas emissions of conventional oil production. 
Production of Tar Sands oil destroys fresh drinking water, pollutes the
air, and razes North America’s ecologically critical Boreal Forests.
Communities downstream of Tar Sands projects are facing elevated levels
of cancer. Tar Sands sludge, extracted primarily in the province of
Alberta, cannot be made clean by technological solutions.

“At
Whole Foods Market, we demonstrate our commitment to our communities
and the environment in many ways, including supporting sustainable food
production, purchasing wind renewable energy credits (some of the
largest by a single buyer in the US), and our commitment to green
building and reducing our energy consumption at our stores and
facilities,” said Michael Besancon, senior global vice president of
purchasing, distribution and marketing for Whole Foods Market. “Fuel
that comes from Tar Sands refineries does not fit our values."

To
back up its new position, Whole Foods eliminated Tar Sands-linked fuel
at one of its distribution centers and committed to work with
ForestEthics and others to replace all fuel supplies connected with
Canada’s Tar Sands.
Bed Bath & Beyond has agreed to make the
Tar Sands an issue in the bidding process it follows for selecting
transportation providers. This provides a competitive opportunity for
providers that can demonstrate their commitment to fuels with lower
well-tank carbon emissions and lower overall environmental and social
impacts.

In July 2009, ForestEthics sent letters to over a
hundred Fortune 500 companies, warning that continued use of
transportation and fuels linked to Canada’s Tar Sands puts their brands
at risk.  Citing the growing public controversy about the environmental
and social costs of fuels from Tar Sands oil, the letters offer the
group’s expertise to help companies avoid these fuels. ForestEthics
also warned that a public campaign could be launched against any
company that does not act to eliminate such fuels from their
operations.

 

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Founded in 2000, ForestEthics is a nonprofit environmental organization with staff in Canada, the United States and C­hile. Our mission is to protect Endangered Forests and wild places, wildlife, and human wellbeing--one of our focus areas is climate change, which compromises all of our efforts if left unchecked. We catalyze environmental leadership among industry, governments and communities by running hard-hitting and highly effective campaigns that leverage public dialogue and pressure to achieve our goals.

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