Walmart reaches key Project Gigaton milestone, touts success of $2bn green bond

The company is more than halfway to Project Gigaton

Walmart has this week published its FY2022 ESG Summary Report and accompanying ESG issues briefs. The report outlines efforts to build towards key sustainability milestones, including Project Gigaton and its green bonds programme.

On green bonds, the report confirms that Walmart raised $2bn through its first issuance. The funding will be used towards onsite solutions like renewables while also assisting the decarbonisation of transport and building towards more circular products and services.

Walmart has also surpassed the halfway point milestone for Project Gigaton, its ambitious climate target to reduce or avoid one billion metric tonnes of emissions from its supply chain by 2030.

Project Gigaton first launched in 2017 and has now seen more than 4,500 of Walmart’s suppliers signing up to date. These suppliers have collectively and cumulatively avoided more than 574 million metric tonnes of CO2e. That leaves less than half of the goal left to mitigate before 2030.

In 2021 alone, more than 2,500 suppliers reported reductions in emissions through the initiative, with these suppliers representing more than 70% of the company’s US product net sales.

Walmart updated its climate targets in 2020 for its operations. It is aiming to reach net-zero operational emissions by 2040, without the use of offsetting, and to source and generate 100% renewable electricity by 2035.

After setting that target, it partnered with other major retailers with net-zero targets – H&M Group, Kingfisher and Ingka Group – to launch a retail Race to Zero Breakthroughs workstream. COP26 saw Best Buy, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and the Australian Retail Association signing up to that initiative.

Late last year, the firm forged a partnership with HSBC and CDP to launch a new supply chain finance scheme, in what is being described as a global first.

Under the scheme, suppliers already participating in Walmart’s ‘Project Gigaton’ scheme to cut indirect emissions for the corporation will be supported in setting science-based emissions targets verified in line with a 1.5C trajectory by the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). Also on offer will be support to complete climate disclosures through CDP.

The report also confirms that as of 2022, 45% of its management promotions in the US were earned by women and 40% by “people of colour”.

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