Walmart is the first retailer to adopt a science-based target emissions-reduction plan, in which it aims to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 18 percent by 2025, as well as reducing CO2e emissions from upstream and downstream Scope 3 sources by one billion tons (a gigton) between 2015 and 2030. To achieve these goals, the retailer has rolled out a new sustainability platform which invites suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) resulting from their operations and supply chains.
The platform, dubbed Project Gigaton, was launched at Walmart’s annual Milestone Summit and will provide an emissions reduction toolkit to a broad network of suppliers seeking to eliminate one gigaton of emissions, focusing on areas such as manufacturing, materials and use of products by 2030.
“We are proud of the improvements we’ve made in reducing our own emissions, but we aim to do more. That’s why we’re working with our suppliers and others on Project Gigaton,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, Senior VP and Chief Sustainability Officer at Walmart.
For its Scope 3 climate efforts, Walmart has identified energy, agriculture, waste, packaging, deforestation and product use and design as top priorities. Participating suppliers are encouraged to focus their commitment in one or more of these goal areas. Walmart collaborated with the World Wildlife Fund and the Environmental Defense Fund to create an emissions reduction toolkit to help suppliers make — and stick to — sustainability commitments. The toolkit highlights the business case for why suppliers should consider signing on to Project Gigaton.
“Supply chains are the new frontier of sustainability. The journey products take from source to shelf will collectively shape our planet’s future,” said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund. “Project Gigaton is a testament to the transformative impact that leaders of industry can have on our greatest common challenges. As more companies follow in the footsteps of Walmart and their suppliers, we can achieve the critical mass needed to address climate change. Today’s commitment represents an important step toward a safer and more prosperous future.”
In support of Project Gigaton, several Walmart suppliers made the following commitments:
- Unilever: Committed – 10MMT: Unilever will work in collaboration with partners (business, the agricultural community, NGOs, state and federal government, academia) to plant cover crops on 15 million acres of farmland across the United States, resulting in the carbon reduction of 10 million metric tons (CO2 equivalent) by 2030.
- Dairy Farmers of America (DFA): DFA will transition 150 high emissions manure management systems for over 100,000 cows by 2030. DFA expects that 2 million cows will reduce enteric emissions through best practices and continuous improvement, including, genetic selection, diet optimization, rumen modifiers, and other solutions by 2030. DFA also expects that 1 million cows will shift to milking and management approaches with the potential to increase yield, such as automatic milking systems, activity monitors, and other solutions by 2030.
- General Mills: Committed - 5MMT (as of 5/25): “As part of our objective announced in 2015 to reduce the emissions of our full value chain to sustainable levels by 2050, we’re thrilled to work with strong partners like Walmart to contribute more than 5 million tons of CO2 reduction to Project Gigaton.”
- Land O’ Lakes: Committed - 10MMT: 20M acres secured through the Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN agronomy platform by 2025; and 100% of its farmer member-milk supply assessed through the Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN dairy platform by 2025
- Kimberly-Clark: Announced a new science-based GHG reduction goal for 2022 of 20 percent.
Additionally, several Walmart suppliers have committed existing emissions-reduction projects to Project Gigaton:
Colgate-Palmolive Company commits to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing by 25% from 2002 to 2020, with a longer-term goal of a 50% reduction by 2050. Colgate also commits, as a way to reduce its most significant Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions, to promote water conservation awareness to 100% of its global consumers and reduce emissions associated with consumer behavior by up to 5% from 2016 to 2022, and increase the recycled content of its packaging to 50% by 2020.
**How2Recycle:**The following suppliers have committed to join and use the H2R label:
- Ocean Spray
- Nestlé Waters
- Reckitt Benckiser
- Church & Dwight Co, Inc.
“Through the years, we’ve seen that integrating sustainable practices into our operations improves business performance, spurs technological innovation, inspires brand loyalty and boosts employee engagement,” said Laura Phillips, Senior VP of Sustainability at Walmart. “Our suppliers recognize the opportunity to realize those same benefits in their businesses. By working together on such an ambitious goal, we can accelerate progress with our respective companies and deep in our shared supply chains.”