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Walmart rolls out sustainability initiatives


BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart as unveiled a number of new sustainability initiatives as part of its Project Gigaton platform in which the company is working with suppliers to avoid one billion tonnes – a gigatonne – of emissions from global value chains by 2030.

Checkout carousels at its U.S. stores will include reusable bags available to customers for purchase. The aim of this new campaign is to help reduce plastic waste and increase customer convenience by placing reusable bags in easy to find and highly frequented sections of its stores. As part of the launch, Walmart is rolling out a new assortment of reusable bags that are made with post-consumer recycled content.

The new reusable bag initiative follows a recent announcement by Walmart on a series of plastic waste reduction goals that seek to advance the sustainability of the retailer’s private brand packaging by making it 100 percent recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable by 2025.

In the first two years of Project Gigaton, many suppliers are already delivering results on their goals and report avoiding more than 93 million tonnes of emissions toward the one gigaton goal. Emissions totals are calculated in accordance with Walmart’s Project Gigaton Accounting Methodology.

In an effort to make it easier to enlist more suppliers to the growing total of over 1,000 suppliers participating in the platform, Walmart also announced that it would publish its Project Gigaton Calculators, which are designed by Walmart and NGOs for suppliers to use in reporting progress toward the Project Gigaton goal.

“We are encouraged by the engagement of our suppliers in Project Gigaton,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, senior vice-president and chief sustainability officer for Walmart Inc.

“To achieve our ambitious climate goals, we aim to expand and deepen that engagement. The progress to date shows how companies can contribute to climate action through practical actions all along the product supply chain. Ultimately, building sustainable supply chains requires collective action from everyone – not only our associates and suppliers, but customers, business in general, and civil society. We are excited to be part of the solution.”

Walmart also introduced new sustainability goals for apparel and soft home textiles within Walmart U.S. stores, including:

  • Sourcing More Sustainable Fibers: Walmart will increase the use of recycled polyester fiber, setting a goal of using 50 percent recycled content by 2025 and to source 100 percent more sustainable cotton.
  • Reducing Manufacturing Impact: By 2022, Walmart U.S. stores will source apparel and home textile products only from suppliers working with textile mills that use the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Index Facility Environmental Module (FEM) to measure and help improve environmental performance. Walmart will also prioritize sustainable chemistry, setting a goal to reduce the discharge of priority chemicals from the textile manufacturing process.