Walmart: The New Green Giant?

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.

Want more reaction to Walmart’s greenhouse gas emissions announcement. Click here.

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6 comments on “Walmart: The New Green Giant?

  1. Anonymous

    Hold the phone. In an endless supply of container ships carrying Walmart goods from China, high sulfur diesel is spewed into the atmosphere and making coastal states like California have some of the lowest air quality communities in the country with cancer causing pollutants at the core of the issue. As these ships depart to international waters (24 mi)they switch from newly mandated clean fuel to cheap polluting fuel yet the prevailing wind blows back across the US. http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/nr070109.htm “Reducing ship exhaust will eliminate an estimated 3,600 premature deaths between 2009 and 2015 and lower the cancer risk by over 80 percent. In addition, the emission reductions will assist the South Coast Air Quality Management District meet its 2014 federal clean air requirements for fine particulate matter. The reductions are also needed for ARB to achieve its targeted 85 percent reduction of diesel PM by 2020.” Arnold, this is a smoke and mirrors law as it only eliminates a fraction of what is dumped into the coastal air if it were even enforceable. If Walmart were serious they would fix this first but instead they make it your problem so they can greenwash.

  2. Anonymous

    As this whole subject becomes more ridiculous all the time. If some smart University researcher would only calculate how much CO2 we all soak up growing millions and millions of plants and how much O2 these plants give back in return, (the numbers must be staggering) the retailers should be happy to buy our plants and pay more for them. Furthermore we should all get tax credits for the good clean air we provide and for saving the planet from that deadly CO2 gas.

  3. Anonymous

    Peter, You are right on track. That is the focus of the Seely Conference in the end of June. Please come so we can all gather and share data to support the theory you suggest. I want to know my footprint so I feel comfortable before I shout it out to consumers. Greenwashing catches up with you sooner or later so let’s all gather the facts together. Contact Dr Charlie Hall for more info http://ellisonchair.blogspot.com/2010/02/seeley-conference-to-highlight.html

  4. Anonymous

    Hold the phone. In an endless supply of container ships carrying Walmart goods from China, high sulfur diesel is spewed into the atmosphere and making coastal states like California have some of the lowest air quality communities in the country with cancer causing pollutants at the core of the issue. As these ships depart to international waters (24 mi)they switch from newly mandated clean fuel to cheap polluting fuel yet the prevailing wind blows back across the US. http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/nr070109.htm “Reducing ship exhaust will eliminate an estimated 3,600 premature deaths between 2009 and 2015 and lower the cancer risk by over 80 percent. In addition, the emission reductions will assist the South Coast Air Quality Management District meet its 2014 federal clean air requirements for fine particulate matter. The reductions are also needed for ARB to achieve its targeted 85 percent reduction of diesel PM by 2020.” Arnold, this is a smoke and mirrors law as it only eliminates a fraction of what is dumped into the coastal air if it were even enforceable. If Walmart were serious they would fix this first but instead they make it your problem so they can greenwash.

  5. Anonymous

    As this whole subject becomes more ridiculous all the time. If some smart University researcher would only calculate how much CO2 we all soak up growing millions and millions of plants and how much O2 these plants give back in return, (the numbers must be staggering) the retailers should be happy to buy our plants and pay more for them. Furthermore we should all get tax credits for the good clean air we provide and for saving the planet from that deadly CO2 gas.

  6. Anonymous

    Peter, You are right on track. That is the focus of the Seely Conference in the end of June. Please come so we can all gather and share data to support the theory you suggest. I want to know my footprint so I feel comfortable before I shout it out to consumers. Greenwashing catches up with you sooner or later so let’s all gather the facts together. Contact Dr Charlie Hall for more info http://ellisonchair.blogspot.com/2010/02/seeley-conference-to-highlight.html