Walmart Canada is expanding its sustainability initiatives in the country by launching “Project Gigaton,” a global Walmart program to reduce emissions from global supply chains.
Lee Tappenden, president and CEO of Walmart Canada, made the announcement during Walmart’s annual Sustainability Milestone Summit in Bentonville, Arkansas.
“At Walmart Canada, we have taken a number of steps to reduce our environmental footprint and enhance the sustainability of our operations, but there is more we can do,” Tappenden said. “Through Project Gigaton, we will work in a collaborative fashion with suppliers, environmental groups and other key stakeholders in our collective pursuit of seeking to avoid one billion metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from global value chains by 2030.”
More than 200 of Walmart’s Canadian suppliers – including Maple Leaf Foods, Spin Master Toys, Unilever Canada, Agropur Cooperative and many others – have already made Project Gigaton commitments. Removing one gigaton of emissions from global value chains is equivalent to the reduction of the emissions from 211 million average passenger vehicles in a year – more than five times the total number of vehicles registered in Canada in 2017.
Tappenden was joined at the meeting by Michael McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, one of the supplier partners since 1994, who stated the company aims to be “the most sustainable protein company on earth” and is embracing this as “the path to growth.”
Susan Muigai, executive vice president, human resources and corporate affairs for Walmart Canada, shared the company’s sustainability progress, noting that the Canadian operation, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in the country this year, diverted 87 per cent of waste away from landfill in 2018 and reduced food waste by 20 per cent.
As part of its sustainability commitment, earlier in the year Walmart Canada implemented a “Charter on Plastics” to reduce plastic waste.