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Former vice president Al Gore - currently enjoying a resurgence in the national debate with his hit documentary about global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth” – will visit Wal-Mart headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, this week to talk with a working group focusing on environmental issues.

The Houston Chronicle reports that the working group, which is made up of company managers, consists of 14 smaller groups called a “sustainability network.” They meet quarterly to address CEO Lee Scott’s call for Wal-Mart to be a leading force in the reduction of emissions and energy usage, as well as the retailing of more environmentally friendly products. Wal-Mart already has taken steps to cut the gas consumption of its truck fleet, and has pledged to double the number of organic items sold in its stores.

Gore’s presentation to the Wal-Mart group is scheduled for Wednesday.
KC's View:
We haven’t seen “An Inconvenient Truth” yet, but we hear remarkable things about it from people on both sides of the political aisle.

Wal-Mart is doing a very smart thing in embracing environmental and sustainability issues. Beyond the fact that it makes sense for the long-term health of the company – and the fragile earth that it inhabits – to pay attention to such issues, it also has real public relations currency at a time when Wal-Mart is under attack on a variety of fronts.

Assuming that the Bentonville Behemoth is being sincere about its intentions and actions, it will be an inconvenient truth for its competition that Wal-Mart is taking the high road here.