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Whole Foods’ CEO vs Whole Foods’ Values?

January 4th, 2010 · 2 Comments

Whole Foods’ CEO, John Mackey, has made news with a New Yorker profile quoting him promoting the rejection of climate change science. (See Whole Paycheck’s “Crazy Uncle”‘s crazed global warming ignorance.) When it came to his climate science ignorance, the article’s author commented

One would imagine that, on this score, many of his customers, to say nothing of most climate scientists, might disagree.

Mackey’s ill-informed comments on climate science would, it seem, also be a rejection of Whole Foods’ Values for caring about our communities and our environment and Whole Foods’ Green Mission.

Wise moms everywhere remind us that actions speak louder than words. We can all talk about saving our planet but making those smart and sometimes challenging choices every day is what’s going to get the job done. We’ve been trying to make green choices since we opened our first store. We understand that companies can have a large impact on our environment.

After all, if the science on climate change were as shaky as Mackey asserts and the costs of action were so high, why would Whole Foods

  • “stores [be] taking the initiative in many areas to reduce our impact on the earth and its resources”
  • have made a “Palm Oil pledge” stating that “Whole Foods is committed to protecting rainforests, communities and our global climate.”
  • care about “reduced reliance on fossil fuels”

Now, the Whole Foods’ Green Mission introduction ends:

The people who work here — from the CEO on down — are passionate about food, good health and the future of this little blue dot that we all call home.

It is hard to square Mackey’s crazy uncle-like embrace of the deluded and misrepresentative psuedo-sceptical war against [climate] science with being “passionate about … the future or this blue dot that we all call home.”

Either those “values” and that “mission” have substance or they don’t.

Unless Whole Foods’ words are simply greenwashing, it seems that, yet again, the Whole Foods PR department might be in for issuing a “sorry our CEO is an asshat” type of apology.

Update: As Brendan Demelle concludes at DeSmogBlog:

[The New Yorker] probes many of Mackey’s whacky views, and notes how the “right wing hippie” and “unrepentant foot-in-mouther” is as much a liability as an asset to the company he co-founded.  Mackey admits that many of Whole Foods’ 54,000 employees “occasionally” consider him to be “more like a crazy uncle” than his self-described title as their “daddy.”

As disturbing as those descriptions are, the “crazy uncle” one rings true.  Mackey is bizarrely candid, as evidenced by his admission to the Wall Street Journal last August that at Whole Foods, “We sell a bunch of junk.”

Climate change denial is a perfect example of the junk Mackey sells. 

Can we get a cleanup in Aisle 1 please?

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Tags: business practice · carbon dioxide · climate change · climate delayers · Global Warming · global warming deniers

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 MJ on Whole Foods’ CEO’s climate ignorance // Jan 5, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    […] Google Analytics _uacct = “UA-4876695-1”; urchinTracker(); ← Whole Foods’ CEO vs Whole Foods’ Values? […]

  • 2 Alarmjaguar // Jan 10, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Sounds a lot like his views on healthcare…