At a presentation at its Arkansas headquarters, mega-retailer Walmart announced a significant new sustainability goal for its supply chain: Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from the life cycle of its products by 20 million metric tons (22 million US tons) by 2015–a figure roughly equal to the company’s current annual emissions, and about one and a half times the company’s projected carbon footprint growth in the same time period. This is similar to 2.3 million cars worth of pollution.
In doing so it has collaborated with the Environmental Defense Fund, and with ClearCarbon Inc., the Carbon Disclosure Project, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the University of Arkansas’ Applied Sustainability Center to verify GHG reduction claims.
In determining which product categories to focus on first, Walmart SVP of Sustainability Matt Kistler said:
Over the next five years we’re going to be focusing on certain categories, certain businesses where the biggest opportunity exists, where it’s the most efficient, and most cost-effective to remove that greenhouse gas from that supply chain. Whether it be in apparel, whether it be in food, whether it be in home line products, we’re looking at the category of products where there’s great opportunity, but where its at a low cost to remove.