Whole Foods, Bed Bath & Beyond Reject Canada's Tar Sands

New guidelines affect refineries supplied by Canada's Tar Sands

Feb 10, 2010, 09:00 ET from ForestEthics

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Whole Foods Market today announced its commitment to stop buying transportation fuel linked to Canada's Tar Sands. Bed Bath & Beyond 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 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 critical Boreal Forests. Communities downstream of Tar Sands projects face elevated levels of cancer. Tar Sands sludge 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 its bidding process for selecting transportation providers. This provides competitive opportunities for providers that can demonstrate their commitment to fuels with lower well-tank carbon emissions and lower environmental and social impacts.

SOURCE ForestEthics