Wal-Mart launches new sustainability initiative to reduce emissions in supply chain


WalMart has launched a sustainability platform and invited its suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from their operations and supply chains.

The Project Gigaton initiative aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Wal-Mart’s supply chain by one gigatonnes (one billion metric tonnes) by focusing on areas such as manufacturing, materials and use of products by 2030. This is equivalent to taking more than 211 million passenger vehicles off US roads and highways for a year.

This initiative will offer an emissions reduction toolkit to a broad network of suppliers.

The company has set a target to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 18% by 2025.

The retailer will also work to decrease CO2, or carbon dioxide equivalent, emissions from upstream and downstream Scope 3 sources by one gigatonne between 2015 and 2030.

This initiative is a part of a series of Wal-Mart sustainability initiatives.

"Project Gigaton is a testament to the transformative impact that leaders of industry can have on our greatest common challenges."

Wal-Mart senior vice-president and chief sustainability officer Kathleen McLaughlin said: “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.”

The company has identified energy, agriculture, waste, packaging, deforestation, and product use and design as the areas to focus on their Scope 3 climate efforts, and their suppliers are encouraged to focus on these areas.

As part of the project, toolkits would be provided to assist participating suppliers make commitments to emission reduction.

The toolkits have been prepared by Wal-Mart in collaboration with NGOs such as World Wildlife Fund and Environmental Defense Fund, and additional similar organisations.

World Wildlife Fund president and CEO Carter Roberts said: "Supply chains are the new frontier of sustainability. The journey products take from source to shelf will collectively shape our planet’s future.

"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 Wal-Mart 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."