As the largest retailer in the world, Walmart’s sustainability philosophy is necessarily a global one, but one that is also equally focused on the individual communities it serves.
“We understand that for a business to last, it must have a fundamental reason for being, which is found in the value it creates not only for shareholders, but for the world,” says Zach Freeze, Walmart’s senior director of sustainability.“That’s why we have committed to becoming a regenerative company dedicated to placing nature and humanity at the center of our business practices. Our sustainability efforts aim to source responsibly, eliminate waste and emissions, sell sustainable products and protect and restore nature.”
Science informs and guides these goals. In 2016, Walmart became the first retailer to set a science-based target, designed to achieve emissions reduction in its own operations and supply chain, efforts that were recently upgraded to align with the highest ambition of the Science Based Targets initiative, says Freeze.
And as most emissions in the retail sector lie in product supply chains rather than in stores and distribution centers, Walmart launched Project Gigaton in 2017, an initiative that aims to avoid 1 billion metric tons (a gigaton) of greenhouse gases from the global value chain by 2030.