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Wal-Mart Releases Greenhouse Gas Protocol Guidance

In February, Wal-Mart committed to reduce the carbon footprint from its supply chain by 20 million metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2015. The project team that has been working to implement that goal is releasing a guidance document that details how these emissions reductions will be counted, reports the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

Wal-Mart has said that addressing operational and supply chain opportunities can be good for both business and the environment, and is moving ahead with its supply chain strategy by prioritizing the biggest pollution reduction opportunities that can achieve reductions now, says EDF.

The need to qualify, quantify and assess the reductions is what led the project team to create a guidance document that establishes “rules” for counting carbon reductions towards Wal-Mart’s 20 million metric tons goal, says EDF.

The team was led by ClearCarbon Consulting, along with EDF, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart will calculate carbon reductions for each project by using this framework, which outlines the qualification criteria for the project, as well as rules for accounting for emissions reductions and ensuring that they are real.

Although the document was designed as an internal tool for the project team, EDF is releasing the document to provide transparency into Wal-Mart’s carbon reductions. Transparency is a big part of the retailer’s sustainability strategy.

EDF is collaborating with Wal-Mart buyers, merchandise managers and company leaders within the retailer’s business units to identify projects that could achieve a significant carbon reduction. EDF says the team is prioritizing products by those with the most significant GHG emissions in their lifecycle as well as top-selling items.

The project team also is engaging suppliers to implement reductions, and then working to quantify those reductions and assess any claims of reductions. It is looking at potentially big carbon wins for products such as bread, clothing, pork.

The project team also may expand Wal-mart’s CFL campaign to markets outside the United States.

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3 thoughts on “Wal-Mart Releases Greenhouse Gas Protocol Guidance

  1. Over the past five years, Wal-Mart has shown a dramatic shift in their business practices and now includes sustainability as a strategic piece of their business model. General Electric (GE) has also been transitioning toward a new paradigm with its Ecomagination projects. Both of these organizations understand that the environmental and social costs of doing business are increasingly being considered by consumers and this is prompting them to develop products for steadily growing “green” marketplace. They also realize that in many situations, the best decision for the Earth and its people is also the best decision for a company’s bottom line. By working with leading environmental groups to develop and then share their own carbon counting framework, Wal-Mart is moving the entire world forward on the exciting journey to a new “carbon free” economy.

  2. The retail and consumer products industry being the nearest to the customers has been the earliest in sensing the pulse of the customers. Customers as citizen are increasingly gravitating towards products aligned to a more sustainable future. Walmart, P&G, Pepsi each of these organizations are doing their bit in ensuring they are aligned to reap the rich dividends of their investments when this becomes a world-wide phenomena. Remember SMS, Mobiles, Internet, organizations who had planned ahead to seize the oppurtinity and had lept them selves prepared created distinctive value when these trends became a mass-market phenomena. Organizations should not at all view the sustsinability investment as expenses. Other consumer facing organizations like hi-tech and electronics are doing just enough for their internal footprint. They have to be more assertive in pushing their value chain partners in reducing their footprint.

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