Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer, has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2025, the company announced Wednesday.
Walmart, the home of low-priced, quality-brand goods, is one of the most prolific polluters in the world, ranking as the fifth-largest carbon emitter behind Walmart, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Amazon.com Inc., and General Motors Co. Walmart is already the world leader in greenhouse gas pollution and has been criticized for not doing enough to curb its emissions.
But Walmart’s pledge comes as President Donald Trump has taken a hard line against the retailer and has vowed to impose massive tariffs on imports from countries that are exporting cheap goods to the U.S.
The company announced that it will invest $5 billion over the next decade in greenhouses and power plants to power the company’s operations, and to expand the supply of natural gas, according to the Wall Street, Bloomberg, and Bloomberg Businessweek.
Walmart will also invest in its own battery storage and green energy initiatives to generate electricity for its stores.
The pledge comes after Walmart’s chairman and chief executive officer, Michael Duke, pledged to boost its commitment to the environment in an interview with CNBC.
In addition to the pledge to invest $10 billion in green projects over the decade, Duke said Walmart is committed to hiring at least 1,000 green workers by 2025.
Walmart also announced it will make $50 billion in investments in green jobs over the course of the next five years, the largest number of such investments in U.N. history.
Walmart has been working to reduce its carbon emissions in recent years as it has become more environmentally conscious and has sought to make its operations more efficient.
The company said it will be investing $300 million in solar energy over the first year of the 2020s and $600 million over the rest of the decade.
At the time of the interview, Walmart had about 30,000 employees and its average annual carbon footprint was about 2.2 tons per employee.
The retailer is expected to unveil the latest data on its environmental footprint on Wednesday.
Walmart plans to launch the program in 2018.