Walmart’s Supply Chain: Why Emissions Matter
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
In February, Walmart announced that they are going to cut 20 million metric tons from their global supply chain – an action that, if successful, will eliminate the equivalent of the annual emissions of 3.8 million cars. Walmart is making its stores more energy efficient and using renewable energy including on-site solar panels. So why is Walmart looking outside their four walls for deeper emissions cuts? Because that is where most of their emissions come from. For most people, the carbon impact of the their indirect emissions is more than twice their direct emissions. But if your business is selling goods at the scale that Walmart does, then this figure gets much higher. Therefore, it makes sense that Walmart would look to their supply chain to reduce their emissions; everyone should look at the goods they buy and think about the carbon footprint associated with them. Speaking at the Fortune Brainstorm Green business conference this week in Laguna Niguel, Calif., Wal-Mart Chairman Lee Scott said, “What Walmart has done is approach this from a business standpoint… If we as a company focus on waste, we can make Walmart a better company and at the same time, become a better citizen.” Carbonfund.org honed in on supply chain emissions in 2007 by developing the CarbonFree® Product Certification Program. The program allows companies to calculate the emissions of their product through a rigorous life-cycle assessment and reduce, offset the per-product emissions by supporting high quality carbon reducing projects. The program has been successful to date, and we have certified nearly 100 products that are available in a total of 15 countries, including mobile phones from Motorola, Domino Sugar, Anvil apparel, Grounds for Change Coffee and others. For more information about the products program, please visit www.carbonfund.org/products.