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Walmart Reaches Milestone Sustainability Goals

Aside from a slight dip in revenue, things are looking good for Walmart. The retailer announced this week that domestic sales are up for the fifth consecutive quarter and that its sustainability goals for the year have been met and exceeded.

Ten years ago, Walmart outlined three goals for greening its business: to be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy, create zero waste and sell products that sustain people and the environment.

To make those aspirational objectives attainable, Walmart created specific commitments with definitive timelines, one of which was to eliminate 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from its supply chain.

Walmart said five years back that it wanted to reach the goal by the end of 2015 and on Tuesday the retailer announced it has already exceeded that commitment by eliminating 28.2 million metric tons of the emissions that contribute to global warming—roughly equal to taking more than 5.9 million cars off the road for one year.

In 2005, Walmart said it would double its fleet efficiency by the end of 2015, too, and that goal was also met. The company worked with associates to develop innovative solutions for loading, routing and driving techniques, and collaborated with tractor and trailer manufacturers on new technologies.

“With these new efficiencies, in this fiscal year alone, the company expects to save nearly $1 billion compared to a 2005 baseline, and avoid emissions of almost 650,000 metric tons of CO2,” Walmart said in a statement. “This contributes to a cleaner environment and lower prices for customers.”

In looking ahead, Walmart is making a new commitment to preserve wildlife habitats.

The retailer will allot $35 million over the next 10 years to U.S. conservation program, Acres for America. Through Acres for America and in collaboration with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Walmart has helped preserve and restore more than 1 million acres of land where wildlife live.

Walmart’s latest contribution will go toward securing land for the reintroduction of elk in West Virginia, conserving habitats on ranches in Montana and Colorado, and forests in Georgia, Arkansas and Massachusetts. Combined, the projects are expected to conserve more than 118,000 acres of land.

Kathleen McLaughlin, Walmart’s chief sustainability officer, said, “While our journey is far from over, it’s clear that we are on the right path. Even as Walmart grows, we are continuing to leverage our scale and enhancing our supply chain for the good of people and the planet.”