In a bold move, Wal-Mart has called on its suppliers to cut 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gases out of the production process by 2015. A Wal-Mart press release said this move would have the same emission-reducing effect as taking 3.8 million cars off the road for more than a year.
Wal-Mart is teaming up with the Environmental Defense Fund to reduce its environmental impact and measure actual reductions. The EDF and Wal-Mart will work to improve the company’s practices by focusing on seven main areas:
• China: Wal-Mart aims to improve environmental practices at Chinese factories and reward suppliers that produce eco-friendly products.
• Global warming: Wal-Mart wants to reduce its carbon footprint by 20 million metric tons by 2015.
• Packaging: Wal-Mart will track solid waste packaging to see how changing the packaging of products might affect greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental concerns.
• Production innovation: Wal-Mart will work with designers and suppliers to improve the sustainability of products.
• Plastic bag waste: Wal-Mart will emphasize the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling to decrease plastic bag waste.
• Sustainable agriculture: Wal-Mart says it will create a strategy to improve food production and processing that will result in better water quality and the more efficient use of water.
• Toxic materials: Wal-Mart will develop a tool that it and other retailers can use to lower the amount of toxins used in products.
Watch Wal-Mart’s senior vice president of sustainability, Matt Kistler, make the announcement.