BENTONVILLE -- Walmart announced today that suppliers have reported reducing more than 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions as part of the company’s Project Gigaton initiative.
Walmart launched Project Gigaton last April, working with suppliers to reduce emissions from the company’s supply chain by a gigaton, or one billion metric tons, by 2030. The emissions reduction progress was shared at Walmart’s annual Sustainability Milestone Summit. Additional commitments on solar and wind power and electric vehicle charging stations were also discussed.
“The early success of Project Gigaton parallels ongoing progress in our operational efforts that seek to double our U.S. renewable energy use and expand our customer electric vehicle charging hubs to retail outlets across more than 30 states,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, senior vice president and chief sustainability officer for Walmart.
With the recent expansion of Project Gigaton in China and the U.K., more than 400 suppliers with operations in more than 30 countries have joined the program. Suppliers can commit to reductions in any of six categories that include energy, agriculture, waste, packaging, deforestation and product use. Approximately 85 percent of the Project Gigaton emissions reductions reported by suppliers have focused their efforts on energy and product use, according the press release.
“With Project Gigaton, Walmart is raising the bar for innovation and collaboration across its supply chain,” said Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund. “In Project Gigaton’s second year, we hope to see even more Walmart suppliers setting targets based in science, ensuring that business, people and nature thrive.”
Walmart also plans to more than double its electric vehicle charging station sites with the addition of several hundred charging stalls in 34 states. This expansion will bring Walmart’s total number of charging units to well over 1,000 when complete, according to the release. Walmart’s charging station expansion will feature chargers that can charge a car in between 10 to 30 minutes.
Walmart plans to add on-site solar energy to 130 sites which will bring its total to approximately 500 locations across 22 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, according to the release.
Walmart recently agreed to acquire renewable energy that will enable the building of two new large-scale wind farms developed by Geronimo Energy and Engie, according to the release. The 1.26 billion kWh produced annually from this arrangement will be equivalent to the majority of the electricity needed to power Walmart stores, Sam’s Clubs and distribution centers across seven Midwestern states.
Cumulatively, these new solar and wind projects will provide over 1.6 billion kWh of renewable energy annually to Walmart, equivalent to the average annual electricity use of over 139,000 homes and thus doubling Walmart’s renewable energy use in the U.S. and moving it closer towards its 2025 goal of being supplied with 50 percent renewable energy.