Walmart, H&M, Ikea launch climate change initiative

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Race to Zero logo

A group of several leading retailers, including Walmart, are joining forces to reduce carbon and limit global warming.

Walmart, H&M, Ikea, and Kingfisher plc are introducing the Race to Zero Breakthroughs: Retail Campaign, in partnership with the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) High Level Climate Action Champions and supported by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

The retailers have pledged their support to accelerate a movement in the industry to drive climate action and encourage other retailers to set out their plans to reduce carbon emissions and limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Other retailers can join the Race to Zero effort by setting science-based targets, working to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and committing to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest.

The breakthroughs campaign helps retailers achieve these goals by providing sector-specific guidance and access to networks and best practices. The campaign will also work with trade association partners to drive awareness about the Race to Zero, share tools, resources and accelerate the adoption of net-zero roadmaps.

According to the group, only 5% of retail businesses by total global industry revenues have committed to take action to limit global warming in accordance with the Paris Agreement goals. E-tail giant Amazon cofounded a similar program with climate group Global Optimism, the Climate Pledge, in 2019. The Climate Pledge members commit to reach the Paris Agreement 10 years early and be net-zero carbon by 2040. The pledge now has 108 signatories, including Verizon, Siemens, Microsoft, and Best Buy. 

“This campaign is a call to retailers everywhere to take ambitious climate action as they increasingly recognize the risks posed by climate change across their supply chains and operations,” said Peter Bakker, president and CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the organization leading the campaign. “We need more retailers to join the UNFCCC’s Race to Zero and showcase leadership and commitment, like H&M Group, Ingka Group (IKEA), Kingfisher and Walmart.”

Walmart operates approximately 10,500 stores and clubs under 48 banners in 24 countries and e-commerce websites.


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