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February 10, 2010
12:15 PM

CONTACT: ForestEthics

Will Craven, 415 407 3426,

Whole Foods, Bed, Bath & Beyond Reject Tar Sands

New guidelines affect refineries supplied by Canada’s Tar Sands

WASHINGTON - February 10 - 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.


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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