Walmart plans to massively cut greenhouse gas emissions from its global supply chain over the next five years – a move the retailer said would be equivalent to taking 3.8 million cars off the road for a year.

The Asda parent will ask suppliers to reduce emissions from the sourcing, manufacturing, transportation, and disposal of its products.

Chief executive Mike Duke said the plan to remove 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas from its supply chain by the end of 2015 would cut energy use, leading to reduced costs and lower prices for shoppers.

"We do plan and want to continue to build stores,” he said. “We want to add square footage. That's the reality of our business.

“Yet we know we need to get ready for a world in which energy will only be more expensive, and that there will only be a greater need to operate with less carbon in the supply chain."

The move is part of Walmart’s wider aim to one day use only renewable energy and create zero waste.

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