Walmart wants its suppliers to join the retailer to reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from their operations and supply chains.
The new initiative, dubbed “Project Gigaton,” will provide an emissions reduction tool kit to a broad network of suppliers seeking to eliminate one gigaton of emissions, focusing on such areas as manufacturing, materials and use of products by 2030. (According to Walmart, one gigaton is the equivalent to taking more than 211 million passenger vehicles off of U.S. roads and highways for a year.)
“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 VP and chief sustainability officer for Walmart.
Walmart said it is the first retailer with a verified science-based target emissions-reduction plan. The retailer aims to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 18% by 2025. It is also working to reduce CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent, emissions from upstream and downstream Scope 3 sources by one billion tons (a gigaton) between 2015 and 2030.
The new Gigaton project is part of a series of Walmart sustainability initiatives that seek to address social and environmental issues in ways that help communities while also strengthening business. These include the chain’s investment in solar energy by which it has helped to support jobs for American solar companies. Walmart has identified energy, agriculture, waste, packaging, deforestation, and product use and design as the goal areas in which to focus their Scope 3 climate efforts. Participating suppliers are encouraged to focus their commitment in one or more of these goal areas.
“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 VP, 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.”