Wal-Mart the world’s largest retailer has announced a dramatic policy shift to invest heavily in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, lobby the US government for a minimum wage hike and introduce more affordable healthcare for its workers in the US.

Chief executive Lee Scott, said that Wal-Mart planned to become more proactive on issues that it had traditionally approached with a “defensive posture”.

He explained how the company had set targets such as increasing the fuel efficiency of its fleet by 25% within three years; reducing greenhouse gases from its existing stores by 20% within seven years and reducing solid waste from its stores by 25% within the next three years.

It is also looking to create a new store concept which produces 30% less greenhouse gases.