Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is the biggest private user of electricity in the world and has huge potential to cut back on greenhouse gases in-house and among its 60,000 suppliers, company officials said ahead of a global warming information stop Wednesday by former vice president Al Gore. Wal-Mart working groups on environmental change were meeting ahead of Gore’s visit to discuss steps already taken and new efforts ahead under a green initiative launched last October by Chief Executive Lee Scott to make the often-criticized company a better environmental citizen. The world’s largest retailer emitted the equivalent of 20.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide last year, the main greenhouse gas, while the best estimate for its supply chain - all the production and shipping needed to fill Wal-Mart shelves - is 10 times that, said Jim Stanway, director of project development in Wal-Mart’s energy department. ‘We’re big, but we’re certainly not the biggest,’ Stanway said. Coca-Cola Co. produces about 5 million metric tons a year while utility American Electric Power emits about 160 million metric tons, he added. Wal-Mart disclosed its CO2 figure for the first time this year. Scientists have become increasingly concerned in recent […]

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