Walmart has announced plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its China value chain by 50 million metric tons, with the launch of Project Gigaton programme.
The planned reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is equivalent to the emission associated with the average annual electricity consumption of 40 million Chinese households.
Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon said: “As a global company, we are proud to use our reach to help create a more sustainable future, for our customers, associates, and the communities we serve.
“We believe that business can accelerate environmental progress while delivering economic growth. That’s why we’re committed to taking a shared value approach to our work in China and around the world.”
As part of this initiative, the retail major will start enrolling 100 of its top suppliers into the emissions reduction programme.
The launch of Project Gigaton in China is a part of the company’s global approach to sustainability and Walmart plans to reduce one billion metric tonnes globally through this project.
Over 400 suppliers in China, India, US and other countries have joined the project, and Walmart plans to continue to expand the program.
In order to help provide resources to suppliers in China, Walmart has created a digital resource center in Mandarin and English with tools, case studies, and program resources on emissions reduction in the value chain.
Complementing the Chinese government’s goal to increase renewable energy usage, Walmart plans to invest in operational efficiency and clean renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar to reduce emissions impact during its expansion.
Walmart also plans to expand on-site solar systems and install new large-scale off-site projects onto the grid in collaboration with developers.
China Environmental Defense Fund vice-president Zhang Jianyu said: “We are pleased with the strides Walmart is making in efficiency initiatives while growing and investing in its business in China.
“Their collaboration and innovation within the industry is paving the way for others to do business responsibly in the country.”
Walmart also announced plans to open 30 to 40 new stores, including five Sam’s Clubs and a new supermarket format in 2018.