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China Lands on Walmart’s Latest Green Map

Chinese shoppers stock up on snacks in Walmart ahead of the annual Lunar New Year holiday in Kunming, Yunnan province on Feb. 8. Photo: VCG
Chinese shoppers stock up on snacks in Walmart ahead of the annual Lunar New Year holiday in Kunming, Yunnan province on Feb. 8. Photo: VCG

U.S. retailer Walmart Inc. is urging its suppliers in China to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 million metric tons (55.1 million tons) by 2030.

Walmart’s emissions reduction program for China accounts for 5% of the company’s plan to reduce emissions in its global value chain by 1 billion metric tons by 2030. That figure is equal to the emissions released by more than 211 million passenger vehicles in a year on average, according to a company statement.

More than 400 suppliers in China, India, the U.S. and elsewhere have joined the project, according to Walmart. The program in China will start with 100 major suppliers.

“We believe that business can accelerate environmental progress while delivering economic growth. That’s why we’re committed to taking a shared value approach to our work in China and around the world,” Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon said in the statement.

The company has also created a digital bilingual resource center to help with case studies and setting targets.

Walmart’s emissions reduction program comes as China is getting a handle on its air pollution problems. Beijing, for example, has made some progress in reducing the average level of PM2.5, the fine particles in the air that have been linked to illnesses including cancer. The capital has cut its average level of PM2.5 from about 90 micrograms per cubic meter in 2013 to 58 micrograms per cubic meter in 2017. However, that level was still much higher than the national standard of 35 micrograms per cubic meter.

At the same time, China may end up shouldering greater global responsibilities on environmental issues, after U.S. President Donald Trump decided in June to withdraw from the Paris climate accords.

Contact reporter Coco Feng (renkefeng@caixin.com)

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