Initiative seeks to reduce greenhouse gases in supply chain
The initiative provides an emissions-reduction tool kit that helps suppliers commit to emission reduction or establish emission-reduction projects, Walmart said.
Elimination of a gigaton (1 billion tons) of greenhouse gases would be equivalent to removing more than 211 million passenger vehicles from U.S. roads for a year, according to Walmart.
“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 said that it is the first retailer with a verified science-based target emissions-reduction plan.
“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 for 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.”
Walmart said it aims to meet the one-gigaton target by helping to reduce absolute Scope 1 [direct greenhouse gas] and Scope 2 [indirect greenhouse gas] emissions by 18% by 2025, and to work to reduce carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from upstream and downstream Scope 3 sources.
In creating the emissions-reduction tool kit, Walmart collaborated with organizations including the World Wildlife Fund and the Environmental Defense Fund. Walmart sees its role as highlighting the business case for why suppliers should sign on to Project Gigaton.
“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 chief executive officer for 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.”
Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, said, “A challenge like Project Gigaton will catalyze leadership and innovative solutions around the globe. Forward-looking companies like Walmart, and the suppliers that will join them, know that our economy and our planet can — and must — thrive together. Consumers deserve both, and these businesses are leading the way.”