Walmart intends to become a “regenerative company”
US retailer Walmart, the world’s largest company by revenue, has announced a goal to become a “regenerative company”. Specific targets include protecting, managing or restoring at least 50 million acres of land (which is equivalent to around 2% of the United States’ land area) and one million square miles of ocean (<1% of the global ocean area) by 2030, and achieving net zero emissions by 2040. The net zero target appears to cover only Walmart’s direct emissions, not food and product supply chain emissions.
The press release says that Walmart intends to promote regenerative agricultural practices, sustainable fisheries management and forest protection and restoration. It is not clear exactly what is meant by regenerative agricultural practices, although Walmart’s sustainability timeline discusses sourcing beef products that prioritise “soil health, animal welfare and responsible use of antibiotics”.
The press release does not mention dietary change.
On Twitter, Samuel Smith of Forum for the Future said “For perspective, 50m acres = 5% of USA farmland. Given their market share, assume that would be a small portion of the company's ecological footprint?”
Read the full story here. See also the Foodsource resource What interventions could potentially shift our eating patterns in sustainable directions?
North America is the northern subcontinent of the Americas covering about 16.5% of the Earth's land area. This large continent has a range of climates spanning Greenland’s permanent ice sheet and the dry deserts of Arizona. Both Canada and the USA are major food producers and some of the largest food exporters in the world. Industrial farms are the norm in North America, with high yields relative to other regions and only 2% of the population involved in agriculture.