Air quality and expenses eyed in China

China is known for some of the worst air pollution in the world and to help improve the situation Walmart has launched a new initiative focused on helping suppliers reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

The retailer recently held a supplier summit in Shenzhen, China and announced a new commitment to strengthen the sustainability of its global supply chain by advancing the energy efficiency of its China-based manufacturers. The retailer said suppliers representing 70% of its business sourced in China will be invited to participate in an energy efficiency program by the end of 2017. As a result, Walmart forecasts significant potential savings over the next three years.  An improvement in energy efficiency by 10% would translate to lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than one million metric tons or the equivalent of taking more than 200,000 cars off the road for one year.
“We hope that today’s announcement will continue to pave the way for our operations to become more sustainable in China and globally, as well as continue to set the tone for the industry as a whole,” said Ignacio Lopez, SVP of Walmart’s global sourcing operations.

So far, 40 factories in China have participated in a 2014 pilot program, and approximately 500 factories will be invited to participate in the program by the end of 2017. In order to reach the 2017 goal set forth for China-based manufacturers, Walmart said it will assist in providing tools and resources that will help suppliers identify energy efficient projects tailored for each facility, coordinating relevant training when needed to overcome barriers with implementation.  Walmart will also track overall project performance and impact.
“China is a key market for Walmart’s long-term sustainability strategy, and as a company, we’re focused on being part of a solution to help improve environmental issues facing the country,” said Sean Clarke, CEO of Walmart China. “Walmart has made significant progress in advancing factory efficiency in China in recent years, and today’s announcement is an expansion of our efforts to drive a larger impact.”

Since 2008, Walmart said it has successfully implemented an energy efficiency program in its China facilities that resulted in a 20% energy reduction in 210 factories and $279 million savings in energy costs.

Login or Register to post a comment.