Big Box Giant Best Buy Takes on the Chamber

| Mon Mar. 22, 2010 12:31 PM EDT

Best Buy last week became the latest major business player to distance itself from the US Chamber of Commerce on climate policy. The chamber, says the big box titan, "has not spoken for Best Buy on these issues."

Here's the company's official statement:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization with varied business stakeholders and interests. Those interests among industry don’t always align; on the issue of climate change legislation and regulatory actions, we have certainly seen this to be the case. Best Buy has stated that we are supportive of comprehensive climate change legislation and working to move toward a low carbon economy. With regard to the Chamber’s climate initiatives, the Chamber has not spoken for Best Buy on these issues. We have shared our views with the Chamber and will continue to do so. Best Buy’s commitment to sustainability aligns with global interests in addressing climate change. Best Buy is an innovator in offering our customers products and services that enable them to live more sustainably. At the same time, Best Buy is addressing our own carbon footprint resulting in a positive impact on the economic, environmental and societal well-being of the planet.

The company also notes that it participates in a number of pro-climate-action business organizations like the Alliance to Save Energy, Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy, and the Sustainability Consortium. It's interesting timing for Best Buy's statement, considering that for the first time, the Chamber is making positive noises about the Senate bill currently in the works. That said, the Chamber is still waging a legal battle against climate science. It may be a little late to the action, but Best Buy has been asserting a stronger stance on climate issues of late -- announcing last month that they were joining lobbying efforts in support of a climate bill and making more of an effort to be a "green giant" among big box stores through their efforts to reduce waste and improve sustainability throughout their supply chain.

Microsoft criticized the Chamber’s stance on climate earlier this month. And there were a number of defections last fall over the issue: Midwestern utility Exelon Corp., the New Mexico utility holding company PNM Resources, Northern California utility Pacific Gas and Electric, and Mohawk Fine Paper all dropped out over a span of several weeks. Nike also resigned from the Chamber's board.

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