We are focused on reducing emissions in our operations, engaging suppliers to reduce emissions in supply chains, strengthening the resilience of our business and using our voice to advocate for collective action.
For the past four years we have received an A or A- score from climate disclosure nonprofit CDP for our transparency on climate action. Walmart estimates its scopes 1, 2 and partial scope 3 GHG emissions in accordance with the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard and has disclosed this and other climate-related information annually since 2006. See our third-party assurance statement for our CY2021 CDP reporting here.
In 2020, we raised our aspiration to reduce emissions in our operations (scopes 1 & 2) by realigning our science-based target to a 1.5-degree Celsius trajectory, the highest ambition approved by the SBTi. Our goal is to achieve zero emissions across Walmart’s global operations by 2040, reducing absolute scopes 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 35% by 2025 and by 65% by 2030 from our 2015 base year. We were the first U.S. retailer to make a zero emissions commitment that does not rely on carbon offsets.
Between our 2015 baseline and 2021, we reduced our absolute scopes 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 23.2%.
Sustainable Supply Chain
Because most emissions in the retail sector lie in product supply chains rather than in stores and distribution centers (such indirect emissions are referred to as Scope 3 emissions), we started Project Gigaton in 2017 – our initiative to engage suppliers in climate action along with NGOs and other stakeholders.
Project Gigaton aims to reduce or avoid one billion metric tons (a gigaton) of greenhouse gas emissions from the global value chain by 2030 by inviting suppliers to set targets and take action in six areas: energy use, nature, waste, packaging, transportation and product use and design. The Project Gigaton platform includes a variety of resources, including calculators to help set and report on goals, best practices workshops, and links to additional resources and initiatives. More than 4,500 suppliers have signed on, and since the effort launched in 2017, suppliers have reported a total of 574 million metric tons of avoided emissions – putting us more than halfway to achieving our goal.
Walmart and Schneider Electric, a leader in renewable energy purchasing, are collaborating on Gigaton PPA, an initiative to educate Walmart suppliers about renewable energy purchases and accelerate renewable energy adoption by participating suppliers through aggregate power purchase agreements. The GPPA initiative is designed to make it possible for more companies to learn about energy purchases, access renewable energy, reduce emissions and increase their ability to contribute towards Project Gigaton.
Climate-related Risk Assessment
To inform the company’s climate mitigation and adaptation strategies, Walmart periodically conducts a scenario-based climate risk assessment, aiming to align with the scenario guidance set forth by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD). We updated the physical risk analysis in 2020 with the help of a third-party consultant, considering climate-related risks in the short-, medium- and long-terms.
Read more about this analysis in our climate brief (part of our ESG reporting site) and in our CDP Response.
Mitigating the Effects of Climate Change
Mitigating the effects of climate change will require worldwide collective action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Because most emissions in the retail sector lie in product supply chains rather than in stores and distribution centers, we have committed to pursue substantial emissions reduction not only in our own operations but also across product supply chains by catalyzing and supporting initiatives among suppliers, NGOs, customers and others at scale.
Adapting to the Effects of Climate Change
Insights into climate risk have underscored the relevance of Walmart’s initiatives and long-standing capabilities in resilient operations and sourcing. Examples include:
Walmart’s Emergency Management Department uses predictive analytics to gauge the path and likely severity of seasonal weather events that can impact operations and supply lines. The Emergency Management team helps our operations and supply chain teams prepare for and mitigate the effects of such events. If disaster strikes, the Emergency Management team operates out of Walmart’s Emergency Operations Center, engaging associates, local governments, NGOs and others as needed. The team deploys associates with specialized expertise as well as mobile generators, fuel resources, trucks and other resources to manage crises on the ground. Storms impacting larger geographies, such as the February 2021 winter storm across the southern U.S., contributed to this trend.
Because agricultural commodities can be especially susceptible to weather events and to climate change, Walmart has prioritized strategic initiatives to enhance commodity supply chains sustainability and resilience. Walmart’s efforts include setting sourcing requirements and product specifications for suppliers, engaging suppliers in measurement and best practice sharing, supporting industry collaboration, engaging our customers, public policy advocacy and philanthropy.
As of the end of 2021, we had more than 600 onsite and offsite renewable energy projects in operation or under development in over 10 countries. According to the U.S. EPA Green Power Partnership Top 30 Retail Ranking, Walmart was the top retail partner in terms of annual green power usage in the U.S. as of January 2022.