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Walmart Suppliers Exceed Project Gigaton Goal Early, Reducing 1 Billion Metric Tons of Emissions

Walmart Suppliers Exceed Project Gigaton Goal Early, Reducing 1 Billion Metric Tons of Emissions

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In 2017, Walmart launched a bold initiative called Project Gigaton, aiming to work with suppliers to reduce, avoid, or sequester 1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in product value chains by 2030. The company announced that suppliers have surpassed that goal six years early, exceeding expectations and demonstrating the power of collaborative climate action.

I am thrilled to announce that our suppliers have now reported projects that are expected to exceed that 1 billion metric ton mark – helping us reach our goal six years early,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at Walmart, and President of the Walmart Foundation.

Several factors contributed to this success:

  • Science-based goals and actions: Walmart partnered with experts like WWF, EDF, WRI, and CDP to establish science-based targets, identify emission reduction strategies, and provide resources for suppliers. They were the first retailer to achieve Science-Based Targets initiative approval for their emissions reduction goals.
  • Benefits for both customers and suppliers: By prioritizing emission reduction, projects often enhanced resilience, reduced costs, improved quality, and led to innovative products for customers. This win-win approach motivated supplier participation.
  • Immediate and sustained action: Project Gigaton was designed to catalyze immediate and sustained action. Suppliers set concrete, science-based goals for emissions reduction in key areas like energy use and agriculture.
  • Support for suppliers: Recognizing that suppliers vary in readiness, Walmart offered a range of support, including goal-setting workshops, resource tools like the Circular Connector and Factory Energy Efficiency tools, and programs like Gigaton PPA to facilitate renewable energy procurement.
  • Continuous improvement: Every year, Walmart raises the bar for “Giga Guru” status, recognizing excellence in target setting, action, and results. They recently requested suppliers to disclose their complete operational emissions footprint.
  • Industry-wide innovation: Project Gigaton became a leading private sector consortium, attracting over 5,900 suppliers since 2017. In FY23, reporting suppliers represented 75% of U.S. product net sales dollars, driving industry-wide innovation in emission reduction practices.

While celebrating this milestone, Walmart acknowledged the ongoing challenge of achieving net zero emissions. They plan to expand Project Gigaton and refine their approach towards their 2040 target of zero operational emissions (Scopes 1 and 2).

Related Article: Singapore’s Blueprint to Achieve Net Zero Aviation Emissions by 2050

Future efforts include:

  • Enhanced Scope 3 footprint estimates: Informed by emerging standards, Walmart will assess addressable and non-addressable elements within their Scope 3 footprint, guiding future reduction strategies and research priorities.
  • Continued supplier collaboration: Real-world initiatives will focus on product improvement, business strengthening, and enhanced support for suppliers in goal setting, learning, solutions, and emission estimation.
  • Customer engagement: Exploring ways to involve customers in emission reduction, offering both environmental and financial benefits.

By setting a new standard for corporate climate action, Project Gigaton demonstrates the positive impact of collaboration and innovation in tackling the global challenge of climate change. Walmart’s commitment to a more sustainable future benefits not only their business but also people, communities, and the planet as a whole.


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