Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), human-caused greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are the leading contributor to the recent rise in global temperatures and resulting climate change. At Walmart, some of our business decisions can be influenced directly or indirectly by climate change. These can range from decisions related to the sourcing of weather-sensitive commodities, to alterations in distribution routes and installation of back-up power solutions due to severe weather events. While the impacts of climate change are difficult to measure and may not represent material threats to all companies today, some studies show that impacts are likely to become material to the economy if global emissions continue on their current trajectory.
Scientific consensus calls for a rapid de-carbonization of global economic systems in order to limit this temperature rise to safe and manageable levels. At Walmart, we want to be part of the solution by working hard to reduce emissions in our operations and supporting reductions across global value chains.
Walmart believes business can play a role in addressing climate change by reducing GHG emissions, and our investments in renewable energy and efficiency underscore that belief. These actions are good for our business, good for our customers and good for our environment. That is why we attended events leading up to the Paris Agreement at COP21 in 2015. More recently, during COP23 in Bonn, we participated alongside other American companies, cities and state leaders who signed the We Are Still In declaration.
Since 2005, Walmart has tracked its Scope 1 (direct), Scope 2 (indirect) and Scope 3 (other indirect) GHG emissions, following the guidelines of the World Resource Institute’s GHG Protocol. Since 2006, we have publicly disclosed this information along with our management practices annually to CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project). We have also encouraged thousands of our suppliers to measure and disclose their emissions.
In October 2016, we became the first retailer to set an emissions-reduction plan approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, in alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement. The Science Based Targets initiative is a collaboration of leading global climate change and conservation groups that help companies determine how much they must cut their GHG emissions to prevent the worst consequences of climate change.
Under our plan, we aim to reduce emissions in our own operations (Scopes 1 and 2) by 18 percent by 2025 from 2015 levels through a combination of measures such as increased energy efficiency in our buildings and trucks, transitioning to renewable energy sources, and improvements in refrigerants management. We are also working with suppliers to reduce Scope 3 emissions by 1 gigaton (1 billion metric tons) carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in the production and use of food and products globally between 2015 and 2030. This reduction would be equivalent to taking more than 211 million passenger vehicles off roads and highways for a year. We recognize that achieving these goals will require the collective effort of our suppliers, customers, associates and other stakeholders. In April of 2017 we launched Project Gigaton, a sustainability platform where we invite our suppliers to join Walmart in committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from their operations and value chains.
Learn more about our progress in our Global Responsibility Report.
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