Retailers With Highest Maritime Shipping Emissions Named in New Report
Brands like Walmart, Target and Home Depot are the focus of a new report on shipping emissions. The report found that just 18 major retailers are linked to 3.5 million metric tons of emissions solely from ship imports into the U.S. in 2021.
The All Brands on Deck report, created by Ship It Zero, Pacific Environment and Stand.earth, named 18 retailers tied to the greenhouse gas emissions from importing their goods into the U.S. The resulting 3.5 million metric tons of emissions is equivalent to the emissions of about 400,000 homes in the U.S. or the emissions from 750,000 passenger cars, according to the report.
The retailers identified in the report span many industries, from clothing and furniture to tech and home goods, and include Walmart, Target, Home Depot, LG, Lowe’s, Ashley Furniture, Amazon, Samsung, Costco, Nike, IKEA, Williams-Sonoma, Dell, VF Corporation, Adidas, HP, Living Spaces and H&M.
Walmart, Target and Home Depot are named in the report as the top three for shipping emissions, responsible for about 1.78 million metric tons collectively in 2021.
The report also analyzed ports to determine potential health impacts on port communities. The authors estimated that the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach handled the largest amount of company imports.
The researchers noted that ports in the Pacific Northwest could help lead the country in developing more sustainable shipping corridors, as they estimated the Ports of Seattle, Tacoma and the Northwest Seaport Alliance to have cargo imports with the least emissions.
Ship It Zero has launched a campaign urging retailers to target zero-emissions ocean shipping, with petitions currently available for Amazon, Target, Walmart and IKEA. According to an Instagram post by the organization, Target, Amazon and IKEA have made commitments to zero-emissions shipping thus far, but Ship It Zero plans to push retailers to shorten their timelines to reach the targets.
Retailers Walmart and Home Depot told Grist that they were in the process of encouraging sustainable shipping solutions to freight partners. Dell also told Grist it had a target of net-zero emissions for its entire supply chain by 2050.
In addition to petitioning retailers to commit to net-zero emissions on shorter timelines, Ship It Zero is requesting all brands to avoid liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered shipping and is calling on policymakers to set mandatory zero-emissions standards for shipping.
“We hope this report compels the world’s largest furniture, fashion, retail and technology companies to abandon dirty ships for good and get on deck for zero-emission shipping by 2030,” the report stated.
Subscribe to get exclusive updates in our daily newsletter!