Effective Scope 3 emissions transition strategy can help Walmart stay on track to a 2°C pathway by 2030

Food & Land Use

Read the full report here

  • Despite notable efforts to mitigate operating emissions, Walmart’s transition strategy falls short in addressing Scope 3 emissions effectively.
  • Without consistent Scope 3 mitigation, the company risks overshooting its 2°C pathway alignment towards a business-as-usual scenario by 2030.
  • From 2019 to 2021, Walmart experienced a significant rise in Scope 3 upstream emissions (29%) which led to a notable increase of 21% in its total GHG footprint.
  • While Walmart engages extensively with suppliers through diverse strategies, there are still gaps in its sustainability-linked compensation and quantified climate transition financial impacts.
  • Walmart’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2040 is supported by its USD 2 billion green bond.

London 26 October 2023: Walmart is expected to align with a 2°C pathway by 2030 when historic operating emissions are considered. Walmart’s transition plan displays a mix of strengths and limitations, according to Planet Tracker’s analysis. While engaging extensively with suppliers and advocating for climate policies, its transition efforts are hindered by a substantial rise in Scope 3 emissions and thus an overall increase in total emissions.

The absence of quantified financial impacts in the risk analysis raises concerns about comprehensive risk management. Walmart’s ambitious commitment to carbon neutrality is bolstered by its green bond investment, yet its transition strategy falls short of effectively addressing Scope 3 emissions.

Without consistent value chain mitigation, the company risks overshooting its 2oC alignment, potentially leading to a BAU global warming scenario by 2030. This outcome highlights the need for more robust supplier sustainability requirements and quantified mitigation measures, especially regarding its value chain.

From 2019 to 2021 Walmart experienced a significant rise in Scope 3 upstream emissions (29%) and a notable overall increase in total emissions of 21%. In the absence of additional measures to mitigate GHG emissions by 2030 Walmart will overshoot Science-Based Targets (SBT) by 570% leading to a potential +3°C scenario by 2030 when its full GHG footprint is considered.

Ion Visinovschi, Research Analyst at Planet Tracker, commented: “Walmart’s assessment of financial impact highlights potential Transition and Physical risks, including carbon pricing mechanisms and climate-related damages. Yet, the company’s reporting lacks quantification of monetary impacts associated with these risks. This approach will potentially leave investors unaware of the magnitude of financial consequences and create uncertainty about the alignment of risk management actions with the Paris Agreement’s goals”.


Download the Shareholder engagement sheet

For more information please contact:

Dominic Lyle, Director of Communications | t: +44 7484 654941 | dominic@planet-tracker.org


Planet Tracker is an award-winning non-profit think tank focused on sustainable finance with the purpose of ensuring that capital markets’ investment and lending decisions are aligned with planetary boundaries and support a just transition. Its mission is to create transformation of global financial activities by 2030 that create real world change in our means of production that align with a resilient, just, net-zero and nature-positive economy.


As part of its Food and Land Use programme, Planet Tracker is examining the transition plans of the food system (Consumer Goods) companies covered by the Climate Action 100+ list (https://www.climateaction100.org/whos-involved/companies). The goal is to provide investors with the key information and analysis they need to be able to hold food system companies to account for the quality of their climate transition plans and their execution against those plans, and to encourage them to use this information to engage effectively with these companies with the ultimate aim of driving the sustainable transformation of the global food system.