Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our
global supply chain
On February 25, 2010, we set a goal to eliminate 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our global supply chain by the end of 2015. Because the GHG emissions from our supply chain are many times larger than the emissions from our direct footprint, the most economical GHG reductions are, oftentimes, not at the retail level, but rather in the value chain of consumer products. Such examples include raw material extraction, product manufacturing, transportation, customer use and product end-of-life.
Walmart merchants and energy experts are working with suppliers in more than 20 product categories to identify GHG reduction opportunities, launch new projects and implement changes. In addition to benefiting the environment, these changes will help our customers save money on energy bills, reduce supplier costs, lower costs of goods and meet our business goals.
We have seen promising early results on a number of these projects. For example:
- Energy efficiency in the apparel supply chain. Partnering with the Natural Resources Defense Council – which has developed a best practice guide for energy efficiency in apparel factories – and our apparel suppliers, we have launched energy efficiency projects in dye mills in China. To date, four mills have had on-site energy assessments. We estimate the average mill can save between one and two tons of GHGs per ton of fabric produced.
- Saving our customers money through a focus on laundry. Since heating water accounts
for approximately 90 percent of the total energy consumed per load of laundry, we have increased the percentage of clothing labeled "Machine Wash Cold" from 37 percent
to 74 percent.
This change was prompted through consultation with the United States Federal Trade Commission to clarify labeling laws, and then working with our suppliers to test cold water washing's efficacy. If just 5 percent of our customers switch to washing their clothes in cold water, they could reduce GHG emissions by an estimated 2 million tons per year. Each customer who switches can also save around $124 per year on their energy bills.