Walmart’s Latest Sustainability Initiatives: Doubling Local Produce, Reducing Emissions

walmart sustainability

Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon detailed Friday the elements of the company’s latest sustainability agenda, in the effort to usher in a “new era of trust and transparency.” The agenda notably includes elements to realize the company’s goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 18 percent by 2025.

“We want to make sure Walmart is a company that our associates and customers are proud of – and that we are always doing right by them and by the communities they live in,” he said. “That’s really what these commitments are about. And that’s why we’re so passionate about them.”

One integral part of the new Walmart sustainability agenda is the development of the first emissions reduction plan approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative, in alignment with the December 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

The plan will include ensuring that half of the company’s energy come from renewable sources and working toward zero waste in landfill in key markets by 2025.

Walmart will not just reduce its own emissions but also plans to work with suppliers to reduce emissions by one gigaton by 2030 by helping them reduce product and packaging waste, amongst other efforts.

Walmart’s sustainability agenda will also include doubling sales of locally grown produce by 2025 and expanding sustainable sourcing to cover 20 key staple items, including bananas, grapes, coffee, and tea.

This new plan builds upon the Walmart sustainability goals first announced in 2005, including creating zero waste in company operations, operating with 100 percent renewable energy, and selling products that help to sustain natural resources.

Walmart is one of the largest private-sector investors in renewable energy, with 25 percent of its operations powered by renewable energy in 2015.

Walmart has made several important sustainability announcements in recent months, including selling “ugly” produce to reduce food waste, committing to selling only cage-free eggs, and asking livestock producers to providing more humane living conditions for their animals and reduce use of antibiotics.

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Emily Monaco
Emily Monaco

Emily Monaco is an American food and culture writer based in Paris. She loves uncovering the stories behind ingredients and exposing the face of our food system, so that consumers can make educated choices. Her work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Vice Munchies, and Serious Eats.