US Fortune 500 companies - Whole Foods and Bed, Bath & Beyond - reject Tar Sands oil from their transportation fuel

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Feb. 10 /CNW/ - Major US grocery chain Whole Foods Market today announced that it will no longer buy transportation fuel linked to Canada's Tar Sands and has already switched suppliers in favour of a less dirty fuel source. Bed Bath & Beyond, a home accessories retailer, also released a new policy encouraging transportation providers to avoid high impact fuels such as those from refineries using Tar Sands.

These are the first corporate responses to ForestEthics United States-based Tar Sands campaign, which launched six months ago with a letter to Fortune 500 companies warning that continued use of transportation fuels from Canada's Tar Sands puts their brands at risk.

"Here is a clear sign that corporate America is starting to turn its back on dirty oil from the Tar Sands," said Nikki Skuce of ForestEthics, a North American environmental group known for convincing Victoria's Secret to stop sourcing its paper from Canada's endangered forests. "This is yet another example of the world embracing cleaner energy while Canada is expanding, investing in and heavily promoting Tar Sands oil."

Whole Foods, which has hundreds of outlets across the United States, was able to track its supply chain for transportation fuels and found Tar Sands oil was being used in its fuel supply. The total vehicle miles driven by Whole Foods' internal fleet each year is approximately 21,615,000. Fuel moved to a new Tar Sands free supplier accounts for about 10 per cent of that amount.

"The issue here is that major US retailers want to do right by their increasingly green-minded consumers and protect their brands," added Skuce.

According to Whole Foods' new policy, "Whole Foods Market is committed to working towards the elimination where possible of its use of fuels produced by refineries that use feedstock from Canada's Tar Sands. This decision has already led to a change in the fuel Whole Foods Market uses for one of its distribution centers."

According to Bed Bath & Beyond's new policy, "Of current and particular concern, in light of this policy statement and these objectives, are fuels produced by refineries taking feedstocks from the Canadian Tar Sands. Fuels from these refineries are deemed to have higher than normal GHG footprints and environmental and social impacts. We will be following up with our service providers on this issue, through our bid process and those that we have update meetings with to continue to remind them of our position and concern."

For further information: Nikki Skuce, ForestEthics, (250) 877-7762