Executive Briefings

Wal-Mart Wants Suppliers to Eliminate a Gigaton of Greenhouse Gases by 2030

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., long known for squeezing its suppliers on prices, is now pressuring companies including Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive Co. to help the world's biggest retailer remove a billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from its supply chain by 2030.

Wal-Mart Wants Suppliers to Eliminate a Gigaton of Greenhouse Gases by 2030

The retailer's target - which it's calling Project Gigaton - equates to taking 211 million passenger vehicles off the road for an entire year, according to a statement from the company. As part of the goal, Wal-Mart will also look to reduce emissions in its own operations by 18 percent by 2025. The bulk of the reduction will come from suppliers including General Mills Inc., Campbell Soup Co., and Unilever, according to Laura Phillips, Wal-Mart's senior vice president for sustainability.

“We’ve made progress in our own operations, but this is taking us deeper into our supply chain,” Phillips said in an interview at the company’s Bentonville, Ark., headquarters. “We need our top suppliers to take more action.”

Wal-Mart has long been known for browbeating suppliers to lower the cost of everything from toilet paper to tires. Now it’s employing similar means of persuasion to carbon emissions, with the added incentive that vendors can save money themselves by, say, reducing the amount of packaging for a bottle of shampoo.

The 1 billion-metric-ton, or 1-gigaton, target represents a significant step up from Wal-Mart’s previous goal to eliminate 20 million metric tons of emissions by the end of 2015, which it surpassed. The retailer boosted its broader sustainability targets last November, saying it would get half its power from renewable sources by 2025, up from 25 percent.

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The retailer's target - which it's calling Project Gigaton - equates to taking 211 million passenger vehicles off the road for an entire year, according to a statement from the company. As part of the goal, Wal-Mart will also look to reduce emissions in its own operations by 18 percent by 2025. The bulk of the reduction will come from suppliers including General Mills Inc., Campbell Soup Co., and Unilever, according to Laura Phillips, Wal-Mart's senior vice president for sustainability.

“We’ve made progress in our own operations, but this is taking us deeper into our supply chain,” Phillips said in an interview at the company’s Bentonville, Ark., headquarters. “We need our top suppliers to take more action.”

Wal-Mart has long been known for browbeating suppliers to lower the cost of everything from toilet paper to tires. Now it’s employing similar means of persuasion to carbon emissions, with the added incentive that vendors can save money themselves by, say, reducing the amount of packaging for a bottle of shampoo.

The 1 billion-metric-ton, or 1-gigaton, target represents a significant step up from Wal-Mart’s previous goal to eliminate 20 million metric tons of emissions by the end of 2015, which it surpassed. The retailer boosted its broader sustainability targets last November, saying it would get half its power from renewable sources by 2025, up from 25 percent.

Read Full Article

Wal-Mart Wants Suppliers to Eliminate a Gigaton of Greenhouse Gases by 2030