Walmart suppliers have cut 93m tonnes of emissions

15 May 2019

Walmart's suppliers have reported avoiding over 93m tonnes of emissions over the last two years, in line with the retailer’s goal of saving 1bn tonnes of emissions by 2030.

In its inaugural Environmental, Social & Governance Report, the retailer revealed it had been working with over 1,000 suppliers to reduce emissions since 2016, as part of Project Gigaton, which aims to avoid over 1bn tonnes of emissions within the supply chain.

Walmart achieved a 6.1% reduction in its direct and indirect annual greenhouse gas emissions in 2017, compared to 2015, said the report. The retailer has estimated that 28% of its electricity stems from renewable sources, part of its aim to source 50% sustainably by 2025.

The retailer has diverted 78% of its waste from landfills and incineration since 2016 as part of its goal to achieve zero-waste to landfills by 2025.  

Walmart, which announced its plastic packaging commitments in February, said the company aims to achieve 100% recyclable, reusable or industrially-compostable packaging for its private brand packaging by 2025.

It will also be working with suppliers to eliminate the non-recyclable packaging material PVC in general merchandise packaging by 2020.

Kathleen McLaughlin, Walmart’s chief sustainability officer, said: “We’re engaged in efforts to source responsibly, create economic opportunity for retail associates and people working in supply chains, take action on climate change, and help improve sustainability of the products we sell.

“We believe business exists to serve society, and that when business engages to be part of the solution, not only can we help accelerate progress in the world, we make our business better too.”

In 2016, Walmart unveiled its “2025 commitments”, a set of goals to position the retailer’s impact on society, bringing in a “new era of trust and transparency”, said CEO Doug McMillon.

As part of the goals, Walmart pledged to use a combination of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources to achieve an 18% emissions reduction in its own operations by 2025.

It also announced it would be working with suppliers to reduce emissions across the whole value chain by 1bn tonnes under Project Gigaton, equivalent to taking more than 211m passenger vehicles off US roads each year.

Walmart is doubling sales of locally-grown produce in the US to expand and enhance sustainable sourcing to cover 20 key commodities, including bananas, coffee and tea.

Last month, the retailer said it would be "entering into the beef industry" by developing an end-to-end Angus beef supply chain in the US. The retailer said it was responding to customer demand for a more transparent supply chain.

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