Recently, Walmart released a summary of its eleventh annual Global Responsibility Report (GRR), highlighting the company’s progress and accomplishments in fiscal year 2018 to increase economic opportunity, enhance sustainability of supply chains and strengthen local communities.
Walmart has made significant progress towards ambitious goals set more than a decade ago including to be powered by 100% renewable energy, create zero waste and sell products that sustain people and the environment. The company has further broadened its bold aspirations, marking a number of milestones in fiscal year 2018, including: significant investments in higher wages, training and increased parental leave for associates; a collaborative initiative with suppliers across the value chain to remove one billion metric tons, or one gigaton, of emissions by 2030 known as Project Gigaton; and further collaborations with suppliers, nonprofit organizations and others to combat forced labor in the global supply chain.
Milestones and progress outlined in the 2018 Global Responsibility Report Summary — regarding sustainability — include:
- Increasing Renewable Energy Portfolio: Walmart has set a goal to be powered by 50% renewable sources by 2025, and has currently achieved 28%, making the goal well on track toward on-time completion.
- Reducing emissions in Walmart’s Supply Chain: Launched in 2017, Project Gigatonstrives to reduce emissions from the collective value chain – Walmart’s supply chain and the supply chain of its suppliers – by a total of one gigaton by 2030. To date, more than 400 suppliers have signed on and within the first year of reporting, more than 200 of these suppliers reported emissions reductions that totaled over 20 million metric tons.
- Working to Zero Waste: By the end of FY2018, 78% of Walmart’s global waste was successfully diverted from landfill.
- Enhancing the Environmental Sustainability of Key Commodities: Walmart is committed to source 100% of its seafood from suppliers and fisheries that are third-party certified as sustainable, actively working toward certification, or engaged in Fishery Improvement Projects. Last year, Walmart achieved this goal of 100% certified for its wild-caught fish, and 98% through farmed fish, with the final 2% having plans in place to obtain certification.
Walmart in the News
In April, Walmart announced plans to double its electric vehicle charging stations, adding several hundred charging stalls across operations in 34 US states.
Once the expansion is completed, Walmart will have more than 1,000 electric vehicle charging units, making the retailer one of the nation’s leading EV charging station hosts, the company says. The effort is expected to create a national grid of electric vehicle charging availability at hundreds of Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations.
And in January, the retail giant announced that one of Alabama’s largest solar facilities will provide power to Walmart in an effort to help the retailer meet its renewable energy goals.
Alabama Solar A, as it’s called, is a 72 MW facility was built by Swinerton Renewable Energy, based in San Diego. According to solarindustrymag.com, Alabama Power is marketing the remaining energy and renewable energy attributes from the project to other customers interested in supporting new renewable generation in the state.