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Walmart launches emissions reduction program in China

A discount giant is making a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its Chinese supply chain.

Walmart is launching an emissions reduction program, called Project Gigaton. The goal of the program is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its Chinese value chain by 50 million metric tons by 2030. To meet this goal, the discount giant plans to enroll all of its export and domestic suppliers in China in the program. At the top of its list are its 100 of its top suppliers.

Project Gigaton’s goal builds upon Walmart’s Factory Energy Efficiency Program. Through the initiative, which launched in 2014, Walmart works with its suppliers in China to promote energy efficiency. Upon inception, Walmart committed to have 70% of its China-sourced export businesses participating in the factory energy efficiency program by the end of 2017.

The company has exceeded this goal and to date, more than 800 factories have joined the program, reporting a savings of $40 million (U.S. dollars) in operating expenses and emissions reduction of more than 270,000 metric tons per year. This program complements the China government’s five-year goal of reducing energy intensity by 15% by 2020, according to Walmart.

“We believe that business can accelerate environmental progress while delivering economic growth,” said Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon. “That’s why we’re committed to taking a shared value approach to our work in China and around the world.”

Over 400 suppliers in China, India, the United States and other countries have joined Project Gigaton, and the discounter is already planning how to further expand the program. The initiative also falls under a bigger emissions-reduction plan approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, which is in alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement, according to the company.

“Integrating more sustainable practices into our operations, resource management and sourcing efforts can spur technological innovation, inspire brand loyalty and increase associate engagement,” said Wern-Yuen Tan, president and CEO of Walmart China.
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