Marketplace – August 1, 2017
Written by Dan Boyce
When the U.S. backed out of the Paris Climate Agreement earlier this year, many environmentalists were dismayed. Many, however, are reassured by the fact that businesses are increasingly stepping up their game in terms of reducing their carbon footprint.
In April, retail giant Walmart announced a plan called “Project Gigaton”. The company says that by 2030, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as if 211 million cars were taken off the road for a year.
“We think this is a leadership position for us,” said Zach Freeze, Walmart’s senior director of product sustainability. “We know that it’s important for our customer.” …
“Project Gigaton is a great name. I mean, you really have to give them credit,” said Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the nonprofit Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
She said she believes while Walmart may be good at marketing its big new climate initiatives, it doesn’t always meet the ambitious benchmarks these projects set. She said for such a mammoth corporation, Walmart could be doing a lot more.
“You become slightly more sustainable and grow a very polluting economic model,” she said, arguing the store’s true legacy is squeezing suppliers to make cheaper, lower-quality products that end up in landfills a lot faster.
Other environmental organizations, like the Environmental Defense Fund and World Wildlife Fund, collaborated with Walmart on the development of Project Gigaton and have since praised the final result as an important step toward addressing climate change.