Mr. Jules Kortenhorst
Rocky Mountain Institute
Mr. Edward Markey
U.S. Senator from Massachusetts United States Senate
Mayor of Pittsburgh
California Secreatary for Environmental Protection
America’s Pledge is a report detailing the efforts of U.S. states, cities and businesses to keep America on line in fulfilling goals towards carbon reduction set out by the Paris Climate Agreement.
Secretary for Environmental Protection
Among them were 50 corporations, including Microsoft, Mars, Kellogg, PepsiCo and Walmart, that have signed up to the Science-Based Targets initiative to cut their CO2 emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, more than any other country.
Walmart was among the US companies that defied Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement as part of the 100-strong #WeAreStillIn delegation to the COP 23 climate talks. Laura Phillips, Senior Vice President of Sustainability, announced the company’s commitment to reaching the goals of the Paris agreement.
“Walmart is about 26% powered by renewables today and we have a chart and a path to get to about 50% by 2025. We have committed to reduce our own emissions in our own operations in line with the 2 degree commitment by about 18% by 2025. We are working with our suppliers and our customers to take one gigaton of CO2 emissions out of our supply chain between 2015 and 2030” said Phillips.
Specifically on renewables, we have more than 350 onsite solar set-ups and we are working on PPA’s (power purchase agreements) in helping us scale renewables.
We’ve found that its been very good for our business, both investing in renewables and investing in energy efficiency where we have saved about 1 billion dollars in fuel as we’ve improved our energy efficiency in our fleet over the past ten years. So fundamentally it’s good for our business, it reduces emissions and it’s good for our community.
“To achieve our 2020 goal of zero-net deforestation, Walmart is working with our suppliers around the world,” said Phillips. “We are accomplishing this through innovative sourcing strategies and the use of technology to increase transparency and supply chain accountability.”
The company’s move updates its previous commitments by strengthening criteria for the kinds of palm oil and pulp products it accepts from suppliers, and by updating requirements for verifying avoided forest loss for Brazilian beef and soy.
Walmart’s foray into sustainability is nothing new: A partner with Conservation International since the early 2000s, the company’s efforts include improving the sustainability of products from apparel to fish, and it announced last year that it planned to be 50 percent powered by renewable energy by 2025.
“There’s a movement afoot,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, at COP23 promoting Climate Mayors, a growing group of US mayors who have pledged to meet Paris Agreement targets, or in the case of Peduto – exceed them.
Peduto said Pittsburgh, which once was a major steel producer, was a city with a future, and was now working to promote new technologies, including electric cars. “Today we see the change in Pittsburgh where there are more people employed in green energy than in oil, coal and gas combined.” Pittsburgh is creating global innovation centres to attract businesses and has been told that cleaning it’s air and cleaning it’s water is the biggest incentive to draw the companies poised to lead in the future. Tax incentives and lots of parking are no longer the draw card.