Retail giant Walmart raised the bar for peers with its new sustainability targets, including goals to reach zero emissions across global operations by 2040, along with commitments to protect land and oceans. The new sustainability initiatives were announced by Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon, during the opening ceremony of Climate Week NYC.
“We want to play an important role in transforming the world’s supply chains to be regenerative. We face a growing crisis of climate change and nature loss and we all need to take action with urgency. For 15 years, we have been partnering to do the work and continually raising our sustainability ambitions across climate action, nature, waste and people. The commitments we’re making today not only aim to decarbonize Walmart’s global operations, they also put us on the path to becoming a regenerative company – one that works to restore, renew and replenish in addition to preserving our planet, and encourages others to do the same.”
Walmart stated that it aims to reach its 2040 zero emissions goal without the use of carbon offsets. It will pursue several initiatives to reach its target, including harvesting enough wind, solar and other renewable energy sources to power its facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2035, electrifying and zeroing out emissions from all of its vehicles – including long-haul trucks – by 2040, and transitioning to low-impact refrigerants for cooling and electrified equipment for heating in its stores, clubs, and data and distribution centers by 2040.
The company also announced that along with the Walmart Foundation, it would help protect, manage or restore at least 50 million acres of land and one million square miles of ocean by 2030.
Kathleen McLaughlin, executive vice president and chief sustainability officer for Walmart, Inc. and president of the Walmart Foundation, said:
“We must all take urgent, sustained action to reverse nature loss and emissions before we reach a tipping point from which we will not recover. People have pushed past the earth’s natural limits. Healthy societies, resilient economies and thriving businesses rely on nature. Our vision at Walmart is to help transform food and product supply chains to be regenerative, working in harmony with nature – to protect, restore and sustainably use our natural resources.”