BSR welcomes Walmart’s commitment to pursue an absolute greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 18 percent and further work to prevent the release of 1 gigaton of emissions in its global supply chain by 2025.
Walmart is both the largest company by revenue and the largest private-sector employer in the world. The company’s commitment to ambition, while impressive in isolation, is even more significant in terms of its multiplier effect and its place in the larger scheme of corporate action on climate change. The power of Walmart’s procurement will undoubtedly encourage other major corporations to raise their own levels of ambition, sending a compelling market signal to companies around the globe and across industrial sectors. Leading on climate change will become the new normal across the business community. And Walmart’s success will serve as a model to other companies, demonstrating the compatibility between profitability and climate stewardship.
Walmart now joins the ranks of hundreds of other companies that have made bold commitments on climate action. To date, 471 companies with total revenue in excess of US$8 trillion and 183 investors with assets under management exceeding US$20 trillion have made more than 1,000 commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This includes close to 200 companies that are now setting science-based emissions reductions targets.
Walmart’s announcement caps a year of bold collective action on climate change. The Paris Agreement, which brings together 196 countries in the common pursuit of global warming of no more than 2°C, has undoubtedly created unprecedented momentum. The recent amendment to the Montreal Protocol adopted in Rwanda, which phases out the use of hydrofluorocarbons, confirmed government commitment to reducing greenhouse gases of all stripes.
Although climate change remains a significant material risk to business and society, today's announcement strengthens our common foundation to build resilient businesses, resilient societies, and a resilient world as we move into 2017.