Increasing Efficiency Through the Elimination of Greenhouse Gases

Walmart Home Office, Bentonville, Arkansas

By Mike Duke

February 25, 2010

Walmart Home Office, Bentonville, Arkansas

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Thank you all for being here today and being part of another important milestone on our journey to be a more sustainable company.

As we all know, energy efficiency and carbon reduction are central issues in the world today.

At Walmart, we’ve been working to make a difference in these areas … both in our own footprint and our supply chain.

A couple examples are the strides we’ve made with the efficiency of our truck fleet and our stores … and our work with suppliers on our Sustainable Product Index.

We also know that we have an opportunity to do more … and the capacity to do more.

And we have aggressive goals on energy efficiency and using renewable energy in existing and new facilities.

At the same time, we’re a growth company. There are millions more people around the world who want to save money so they can live better.

So we need to continue to build stores and add retail selling space.

Yet we know we need to get ready for a world in which energy will only be more expensive … and there will only be a greater need to operate with less carbon in the supply chain.

We have an opportunity to do all of this and to lead. And to do so in the most economically efficient way possible.

Today we’re announcing an aggressive new goal to eliminate 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the life cycle of the products we sell around the world by 2015.

  • This represents one and a half times our carbon growth over the next five years.
  • 20 million metric tons is equal to what 3.8 million cars emit in greenhouse gases over one year.
  • It will be measurable and attributable to our efforts and will be done in partnership with our suppliers.
  • And there are opportunities throughout the product lifecycle -- from the sourcing of the raw materials to the manufacturing of a product to its transportation and how customers use it, dispose of it and recycle it.

We will be efficient … because we can find the reductions anywhere in the world and at the lowest price.

We will be a leader in retail … because we will be the first to take a look at the supply chain on a global scale.

Our analysis has shown that we have opportunities in many of our private label products and with our supply chain.

Walmart and our supplier partners have a history of working together to create a more efficient supply chain that benefits us all.

This effort to reduce energy will be no different.

We will work closely and in cooperation with our suppliers throughout this effort.

We truly believe that we share common goals.

Like everything we do at Walmart, this commitment ends up coming down to our customers and helping them save money so they can live better.

Reducing carbon in the life cycle of our products will often mean reducing energy use. That will mean greater efficiency and, with the rising cost of energy, lower costs, making our business stronger and more competitive.

And as we help our suppliers reduce their energy use, costs and carbon footprint … we’ll be helping our customers do exactly the same.

By giving them a sustainable product they can afford, this is another example of the value we provide at Walmart.

Another thing that’s important to the Walmart customer is the cost of energy – whether it’s gas to go to work or fuel to heat their homes.

That’s why America needs comprehensive legislative policy that addresses energy, energy security, the country’s competitiveness and reducing pollution.

But as we’re proving today there are steps that companies can take right now to make a difference.

I want to close by saying how much I appreciate -- how much all of us at Walmart appreciate -- our NGO partners.

They pushed us and were patient with us throughout the process of crafting this commitment.

I would like to thank The Environmental Defense Fund and Fred Krupp who is here as they have been especially helpful in getting us to where we are today.

And so has the Natural Resources Defense Council and the World Wildlife Fund.

Together I believe we have come up with a plan that will make a difference and set a positive example for business and the world.

And last but certainly not least I want thank to everyone here at Walmart who has contributed to this effort and will contribute to making it a success in the years ahead.