Wal-mart will start buying gas from the same supplier as it does for its own customers, an arrangement that will reduce its overall carbon footprint by 50 percent, the retailer said.
The agreement was announced Thursday by chief executive Officer Doug McMillon and the company said it would be in place in the coming months.
Wal-Marts carbon footprint is already reduced by 50% by using an alternate supplier for its gasoline, Wal-Coors said in a statement.
The move comes amid pressure on the nation’s largest retailer by customers who want to save on their gas bills.
In January, WalMart began using a third-party supplier to buy its gas, but that supplier’s emissions could still be traced back to its own operations.
WalMart said it was partnering with an independent laboratory to test for emissions from its operations.
Walmart said it had already spent more than $5 billion to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
The company said the agreement will provide more flexibility for its gas-using customers, and will help make its operations more efficient.
“We are committed to reducing our emissions and we look forward to helping our customers do the same,” Wal-Mar, which is owned by Walmart, said in the statement.
The announcement comes as the company is under scrutiny for its environmental policies and for its decision to stop selling carbon offsets to businesses.
Walmart has faced pressure in recent weeks from environmentalists who say the company’s carbon footprint has grown too large, and that its carbon-reduction policies are hurting the environment.
In February, the company agreed to pay $3 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging that it illegally withheld information from its customers about the carbon footprint of its stores.
The lawsuit, brought by the National Association of Manufacturers, accused Wal- Mart of not disclosing the full extent of its emissions.
McMillon said in an interview Thursday that he wants to ensure that his company’s environmental policies are aligned with those of Wal- Mar. Last month, Walmart said it will begin selling carbon credits to businesses that want to cut back on their emissions, rather than by buying their own fuel.
According to data compiled by the Environmental Working Group, Wal Mart has a $1.5 trillion carbon footprint.
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