Giant retailers, including Amazon and Ikea, have pledged to go green, but their shipping is still pretty dirty. Now shoppers can now see how much pollution some of the biggest retail companies in the US each generate while bringing goods into the country, thanks to a new report. In 2019, the 15 companies in the report generated almost as much climate pollution as 1.5 million American homes do in a year.
The report looks at greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution caused by shipping piles of cargo around the world and ranks the top 15 biggest polluters by company. Walmart tops the list, generating more greenhouse gas emissions than a coal-fired power plant would in a year. Ashley Furniture, Target, Dole, and Home Depot round out the top five. Ikea and Amazon ranked 7 and 8, respectively. Samsung ranked 9th, and LG was 11th.
While experts have known for a while that maritime shipping is the culprit behind three percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, individual retailers responsible for that pollution have largely been able to avoid scrutiny until now. But with the curtain pulled back on companies’ carbon footprints, consumers have more ammunition to demand action on climate change.