Walmart looks to supply chain to cut emissions

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Walmart is targeting its supply chain with a new initiative to eliminate one gigaton of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Malory Davies FCILT, Editor.

Malory Davies FCILT, Editor.

It has just launched Project Gigaton to provide an emissions reduction toolkit to a broad network of suppliers. The toolkit highlights the business case for why suppliers should sign up to the project.

There is no doubt that this will have an impact all around the world – Walmart now has more than 11,500 stores in 28 countries, including 631 Asda stores in the UK.

Walmart reckons it is the first retailer with a verified science-based target emissions-reduction plan. And it 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.

To join the project, suppliers must submit their own emission targets and then each year they will have to submit data points to Walmart to enable it to track the greenhouse gas reduction achieved.

“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,” says Laura Phillips, senior vice president, sustainability.

“Our suppliers recognise the opportunity to realise 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.”

What this means for suppliers that don’t want to participate is left unsaid. All Walmart is saying is that it wants its suppliers to be part of the programme. But, when the world’s largest retailer says jump, it will be a brave supplier that refuses to say: “how high?”

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