Wal-Mart gets tough on supply chain emissions

26 February 2010

26 February 2010 | Jake Kanter

US retail giant Wal-Mart has unveiled an ambitious plan to cut 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gases from its global supply chain.

Wal-Mart said the 2015 target will be the equivalent of taking 3.8 million cars off the road a year and will involve close collaboration with suppliers.

The company is to focus on product categories with the highest level of associated carbon emissions and press its 100,000 suppliers to change the way they source, manufacture, package and transport goods.

Any carbon reductions will be independently audited by consultancy ClearCarbon.

“Energy efficiency and carbon reduction are central issues in the world today,” said Mike Duke, Wal-Mart president and CEO. “We’ve been working to make a difference in these areas, both in our own footprint and our supply chain. We know that we have an opportunity to do more and the capacity to do more.”

Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund – which partners with organisations to cut emissions – added that Wal-Mart’s efforts would transform its global supply chain.

Earlier this year, Wal-Mart set out plans to save up to $12 billion  (£7.5 billion) as part of a procurement overhaul. The retailer will consolidate its store purchasing and increase the amount of goods it buys direct from suppliers, rather than through procurement outsourcing firms.

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