Walmart said it has become Canada’s first major retailer to offer carbon-neutral last-mile delivery for e-commerce purchases, including online grocery.
Plans call for the Walmart-funded program to offset about 25,000 tons of Scope 3 carbon dioxide emissions — the equivalent of taking over 5,000 cars off the road — in its first year, according to Mississauga, Ontario-based Walmart Canada. To that end, Walmart has engaged sustainability technology firm EcoCart to calculate and validate the emissions created from online orders sold and shipped by the retailer and to buy carbon-offset credits from sustainability projects in the exact dollar amount required to reduce or avoid those emissions.
Walmart noted that carbon offsets enable companies and customers to fund projects that rein in the effects of climate change, compensating for the emissions from transportation and other functions.
“Funding carbon offsets for last-mile delivery in our e-commerce operations is an opportunity for Walmart to make an impact today as we work towards becoming a regenerative company and eliminating emissions across our business,” Laurent Duray, senior vice president of e-commerce at Walmart Canada, said in a statement. “Minimizing the environmental impact of the last mile has been top-of-mind as customer behavior has shifted towards increased reliance on our fast, easy and convenient delivery options for grocery and online orders.”
Besides calculating and validating last-mile emissions and sourcing and vetting carbon-offset projects, EcoCart will provide Walmart with quarterly impact and emissions reporting, which will allow the retailer to track estimated emissions and set benchmarks for third-party carrier partners.
“EcoCart is proud to collaborate with Walmart Canada as they become the first major retailer in Canada to offer a carbon-neutral last-mile delivery," said Peter Twomey, COO, EcoCart. "It's so exciting to see industry leaders like Walmart work toward a more sustainable future that benefits everyone. By funding offsets on behalf of their customers for last-mile delivery, Walmart is making a positive impact on our collective efforts to regenerate the environment.”
Walmart said the program will contribute to its global goal of achieving zero emissions by 2040 without the use of offsets for Scope 1 (direct) and 2 (indirect) greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, the offsets will support a portfolio of Canadian-based initiatives that work to remove carbon from the atmosphere or prevent future carbon emissions, including efforts that protect forests, enable composting and waste diversion, aid refrigerant management and convert biomass into fuel. In addition, Walmart said the projects will bring communities economic and environmental elements, such as jobs, education opportunities, endangered species protection and biodiversity.