Walmart Posts Water and Waste Reductions, Lagging on Carbon Goal
April 21, 2011
Walmart is slightly behind on its carbon reduction goal, however it made significant strides in water and waste reduction as well as fleet efficiencies, according to its 2011 Global Responsibility Report.
By 2012, Walmart hopes to achieve a 20 percent carbon emissions reduction from stores, warehouse clubs and distribution centers, using 2005 as a baseline. In 2009, Walmart reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 10.6 percent. Since 2005, the company’s overall carbon emissions have increased slightly, but by 2015 it has targeted to eliminate 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gases from its global supply chain.
Other milestones Walmart identified in its report:
- It improved by 25 percent the energy efficiency of its most energy-intensive products by January 2011 from a 2008 baseline. The improvements were made to 52 percent of its 1,847 computers, video game consoles, air conditioners and televisions sold.
- Walmart China met a goal to cut water use in half by 2010, from a 2006 baseline. Walmart de México reduced water usage by 17 percent compared to a 2008 baseline, with the goal of 20 percent by 2013.
- Walmart achieved a 65 percent improvement in fleet efficiency from 2005 to 2010. The company replaced nearly two-thirds of its fleet to more energy efficient tractors over the past two years “delivered 57 million more cases while driving 49 million fewer miles.”
On the waste reductions front, Walmart said it cannot measure whether it has met a goal of reducing solid waste from its U.S. stores and clubs by 25 percent between 2005 and 2008 because it does not know the percentage of waste redirected or reduced in 2005.
“When our waste-reduction goals were set in 2005, we quickly realized that our previous waste-management tracking system was insufficient to accurately measure and manage our waste stream,” the report said. “Since setting the goal, we have worked side-by-side with our waste vendors to develop a more sophisticated waste-hauling system that allows us to measure and manage our waste stream.”
In 2010, however, the company said its waste reductions rate was 64 percent.
With the goal of reducing global plastic shopping bag waste by an average of 33 percent per store by 2013, Walmart has so far has reduced plastic bag waste by 21 percent (or 3.5 billion bags), according to the report.
Two unmet goals include selling only Energy Star rated air conditioners by 2010 (it still sells two models that are not Energy Star rated), and eliminate PVC from store brands packaging in the U.S. by 2007, unable so far to find a suitable material replacement, according to the report.
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