Walmart Sets Goal to Become a Regenerative Company
- by Jenna Plasterer
BENTONVILLE, AR - With Walmart expanding its impressive growth strategies by leaps and bounds over the past year, it was no surprise when the retail giant unveiled its new goal to become a regenerative company. The company is setting out to become one of the largest retailers to reach zero emissions, aiming to have achieved this goal across its global operations by 2040. Through its new initiatives, Walmart plans to protect, manage, and restore at least 50 million acres of land and one million square miles of ocean by 2030.
“We want to play an important role in transforming the world’s supply chains to be regenerative. We face a growing crisis of climate change and nature loss, and we all need to take action with urgency,” said Doug McMillon, President and Chief Executive Officer. “For 15 years, we have been partnering to do the work and continually raising our sustainability ambitions across climate action, nature, waste, and people. The commitments we’re making today not only aim to decarbonize Walmart’s global operations, they also put us on the path to becoming a regenerative company—one that works to restore, renew, and replenish in addition to preserving our planet, and encourages others to do the same.”
According to a release from the company, Walmart is planning on implementing innovative and wide-spanning changes in order to meet its advantageous goals. The company will be building on its previous sustainabilty initiatives, like its recent Project Gigaton, and many others that have been launched since Walmart's inital commitment 15 years ago.
The retailer will strengthen its goal by adding new measures to offset its carbon emissions, including:
- Harvesting enough wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources to power its facilities with 100 percent renewable energy by 2035
- Electrifying and zeroing out emissions from all of its vehicles, including long-haul trucks, by 2040
- Transitioning to low-impact refrigerants for cooling and electrified equipment for heating in its stores, clubs, and data and distribution centers by 2040.
“We must all take urgent, sustained action to reverse nature loss and emissions before we reach a tipping point from which we will not recover,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer and President of the Walmart Foundation. “People have pushed past the earth’s natural limits. Healthy societies, resilient economies, and thriving businesses rely on nature. Our vision at Walmart is to help transform food and product supply chains to be regenerative, working in harmony with nature—to protect, restore, and sustainably use our natural resources.”
In addition to zeroing out its carbon emissions, Walmart is also addressing the crisis that is currently facing the world’s natural resources. With declining animal populations and land damage that is ongoing, the company has set forth additional measures that it will be taking as it pledges to become a regenerative company.
The company plans to restore and manage critical landscapes by:
- Continuing to support efforts to preserve at least one acre of natural habitat for every acre of land developed by the company in the U.S.
- Driving the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices, sustainable fisheries management, and forest protection and restoration, including an expansion of Walmart’s forests policy
- Investing in and working with suppliers to source from placed-based efforts that help preserve natural ecosystems and improve livelihoods
McMillon will present Walmart’s new strategy during the start of Climate Week NYC as opening ceremonies kick off. The new announcement will precede the company’s annual Sustainability Milestone Summit that will be held during Climate Week’s Hub Live. Through the event, the retailer will engage with associates, suppliers, NGOs, and stakeholders to discuss and advance sustainability across the industry.
With its focus on the bright horizons of sustainability, and an already promising plan in place, what does the future hold for Walmart’s innovative efforts? We here at AndNowUKnow look forward to finding out.