Common Tragedies

Thoughts on Environmental Economics

Wal-Mart targets supply-chain GHGs

Posted by Daniel Hall on September 23, 2007

Wal-Mart is “asking” 30 of its suppliers to report greenhouse gas emissions:

Wal-Mart is to ask its suppliers to measure and report their greenhouse gas emissions, in the biggest move to disclose emissions from businesses. …

Emissions data can also be used by investors to judge which companies are most at risk from climate change, by governments wishing to regulate greenhouse gases, and by environmental campaigners to spur companies into becoming greener.

Wal-Mart will start with a pilot group of about 30 companies in seven product categories, with a view to rolling out the measurement and reporting to its 68,000 suppliers, which would be the biggest group of companies yet to disclose their emissions.

Wal-Mart says this is all just part of delivering low prices and being a good corporate citizen:

Jim Stanway, head of Wal-Mart’s global supply chain initiatives, said: “Our objective is to find efficiencies in the supply chain. If we remove carbon, which equates to energy which equates to cost, we fulfil our objective of getting low prices to the customer and having a positive environmental impact.”

This could do more for carbon disclosure than some other recent high profile requests.  I suspect that when Wal-Mart says, “Jump!”, all its suppliers say is, “How high?”

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