Walmart: The New Green Giant?
Walmart has launched several environmental initiatives over the last couple years - its Sustainability Index, rooftop solar panels for U.S. stores and, just last week, its goal to eliminate 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
March 2, 2010
Walmart announced last week it plans to eliminate 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from its global supply chain by the end of 2015. The 20 million metric tons represent 1.5 times the company's estimated global carbon footprint growth over the next five years, and it's the equivalent of taking more than 3.8 million cars off the road for a year.
The initiative is one of several environmental initiatives Walmart has launched in recent years. Considering all the initiatives, USA Today recently explored whether Walmart is the "new green giant" in the United States. USA Today mainly reacted to reports other news sources produced in its own report.
For example, in response to the greenhouse gas emissions initiative, Miguel Bustillo of The Wall Street Journal, writes: "Walmart will make its suppliers do the dirty work of reducing the carbon footprints of their supply chains."
If Walmart plans to eliminate 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the next six years, its suppliers will have to play a role in the effort. And that probably means stricter guidelines for the growers in Walmart's supply chain.
"Walmart's supply chain is where the action is," writes Elizabeth Strucken of the Environemtal Defense Fund. "It's the biggest possible lever Walmart could bring to the table. Walmart will work with suppliers to reduce their emissions - which they otherwise might not do.
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