Walmart WMT announced that it has invested in Cruise, a San Francisco-based company enabling a self-driving future through their all-electric fleet of cars. The company invested in a $2.75 billion financing round.
John Furner, President and CEO of Walmart U.S., said that the company began working with Cruise in November of last year developing a delivery pilot in Scottsdale, Arizona. He said that “we have been impressed with Cruise’s differentiated business model, unique technology and unmatched driverless testing. We also value our shared commitment to a zero-emission future.”
Furner indicated that Walmart is targeting 2040 as the year when all their vehicles will have zero emission, and the company has set a goal of 2035 when their vehicles will be powered by renewable energy throughout their supply chain. This bold step is part of an exciting technology advancement by Walmart.
The initiative is called Project Gigaton and will involve every supplier to reduce emission. The company has identified six key areas that suppliers can involved in to reduce emission. They include energy, waste, packaging, agriculture, forests and product use. Walmart indicated that for companies who have worked on sustainability for some time, the next step should be setting an emission reduction target. 2,300 suppliers have already formally signed on Project Gigaton.
John Furner further indicated that “Cruise is a natural partner to take collective action on climate change. It shows Walmart’s commitment to bring the benefit of self-driving cars to Walmart customers and business. Walmart is excited to join Cruise’s already impressive partner and investor with the like of GM, Honda and Microsoft MSFT as we work towards pioneering this emerging technology.”
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Walmart’s leadership in technology will be felt throughout the industry. Suppliers will have no choice but to join the initiative and to advance towards a cleaner and healthier environment.