Walmart Canada launches environmental initiative

The retailer enlists suppliers like Maple Leaf, Unilever and Agropur to remove emissions from the supply chain for Project Gigaton.
Walmart Canada-Walmart Canada Launches Major Emissions Reduction

From left to right: Lee Tappenden, president and CEO of Walmart Canada; Susan Muigai, EVP of human resources and corporate affairs at Walmart Canada; and Michael McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods.

Walmart Canada has signed on to Project Gigaton, a project that aims to remove the equivalent to emissions from 211 million passenger vehicles from the global supply chain.

Through the initiative, Walmart will work with suppliers, environmental groups and other key stakeholders to find ways to remove emissions from its supply chain. Walmart does this by giving its suppliers tools and resources to address their carbon footprints, such as changing packaging, reducing waste, switching to sustainable energy sources and agriculture practices and reducing the impact of business on the world’s forests.

Project Gigaton was first launched by Walmart in the U.S. in 2017, named for its goal to reduce emissions by one gigaton by 2030. Walmart Canada joins the U.K. and China in signing on to the initiative, which has conserved 93 million metric tons of emissions so far.

Project Gigaton joins other environmental initiatives announced by Walmart Canada, which have included replacing single-use plastics, reducing plastic check-out bags by 50% and ensuring packaging for private label products is 100% recyclable. However, Lee Tappenden, president and CEO of Walmart Canada, said during today’s announcement that there was “more [it] can do.”

In Canada, the retailer has received commitments from over 200 of its suppliers, singling out Maple Leaf Foods, Unilever and Agropur in today’s announcement. All three of those companies – among Canada’s largest meat, CPG and dairy companies, respectively – have sustainability and environmental initiatives and commitments of their own. Michael McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, said the company’s sustainability commitment was complemented by participating in Project Gigaton and enhanced by the resources Walmart is able to provide.