Love or hate it, Walmart’s doing a lot to clean up its footprint on earth. Today (April 19) it announced a new effort, Project Gigaton to eliminate one gigaton of emissions from its suppliers by 2030.
“We are proud of the improvements we’ve made in reducing our own emissions, but we aim to do more. That’s why we’re working with our suppliers and others on Project Gigaton,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, senior vice president and chief sustainability officer for Walmart. The company is one of the largest corporate users of renewable energy in the US and world and has solar on hundreds of buildings across the US, for instance. It already sources 25 percent of its global energy from renewable sources, the company said and it’s helping it save money.
Walmart said it is the first retailer with a “verified science-based target emissions-reduction plan.” It aims to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 18 percent by 2025 and will reduce its CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent, emissions from upstream and downstream Scope 3 sources by one billion tons (a gigaton) between 2015 and 2030. It compared the amount of emissions to the effect of taking more than 211 million passenger vehicles off the US’s roads and highways for a year.
Project Gigaton is aimed the company’s company’s suppliers and will provide them with an emissions reduction toolkit. The toolkit highlights the business case for why suppliers should consider signing on to Project Gigaton. For instance, Walmart said that by doubling the efficiency of its US fleet from 2005 to 2015, it saved nearly $1 billion compared to a 2005 baseline.
In developing the toolkit Walmart worked with the World Wildlife Fund and Environmental Defense Fund as well as other organizations. "Supply chains are the new frontier of sustainability. The journey products take from source to shelf will collectively shape our planet’s future," said Carter Roberts, president and CEO, World Wildlife Fund. "Project Gigaton is a testament to the transformative impact that leaders of industry can have on our greatest common challenges. As more companies follow in the footsteps of Walmart and their suppliers, we can achieve the critical mass needed to address climate change. Today's commitment represents an important step toward a safer and more prosperous future."
“Through the years, we’ve seen that integrating sustainable practices into our operations improves business performance, spurs technological innovation, inspires brand loyalty, and boosts employee engagement,” said Laura Phillips, senior vice president, Sustainability for Walmart. “Our suppliers recognize the opportunity to realize those same benefits in their businesses. By working together on such an ambitious goal, we can accelerate progress within our respective companies and deep in our shared supply chains.”
Energy, agriculture, waste, packaging, deforestation, and product use and design are the goal areas Walmart identified for its Scope 3 climate efforts. It’s encouraging suppliers to focus their commitment to Project Gigaton in one or more of those areas.Tweet