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Wal-Mart aims to slash one gigaton of emissions by 2030

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Wal-Mart has launched a "sustainability platform" that will invite its suppliers to join the retail giant in pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions from operations and supply chains.

Known as Project Gigaton, Wal-Mart said on Wednesday that an "emissions reduction toolkit" would be given to suppliers, with the aim of slashing one gigaton of emissions by 2030. Wal-Mart said that this was equivalent to removing 211 million passenger vehicles off U.S. roads and highways for one year.

"Through the years, we've seen that integrating sustainable practices into our operations improves business performance, spurs technological innovation, inspires brand loyalty, and boosts employee engagement," Laura Phillips, Wal-Mart's senior vice president for sustainability, said on Wednesday.

"Our suppliers recognize the opportunity to realize those same benefits in their businesses," Phillips added. "By working together on such an ambitious goal, we can accelerate progress within our respective companies and deep in our shared supply chains."

Wal-Mart has big plans when it comes to sustainability. Among other things, it has set itself the goal of being supplied by 100 percent renewable energy and to achieve zero waste across its global operations. It is also a member of RE100, an initiative made up of some of the planet's biggest businesses, all committed to renewable power.

The announcement of Project Gigaton was welcomed by environmental organisations.

"Supply chains are the new frontier of sustainability," Carter Roberts, president and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund, said in a statement. The World Wildlife Fund has worked with Wal-Mart on Project Gigaton.

"The journey products take from source to shelf will collectively shape our planet's future," Roberts added, before going on to state that the project was "a testament to the transformative impact that leaders of industry can have on our greatest common challenges."