Each week, more than 200 million customers visit one of Walmart’s 11,695 stores across 28 countries. And even more go online to shop Walmart’s e-commerce websites in 11 countries. As the largest retailer in the world, Walmart has a large environmental footprint, but much of its carbon footprint does not come from inside its store walls.
Over 90% of Walmart’s carbon emissions footprint comes from primary production from their supply chain. Walmart has seized this opportunity to lead on climate change with the launch of Project Gigaton. Walmart’s new sustainability platform encourages sustainable practices across its global supply chain by inviting all suppliers to join them by eliminating one gigaton of greenhouse emissions over a 15 years period (2015-2030). That’s the equivalent to taking more than 211 million passenger vehicles off U.S. roads and highways for a year.
This platform is unprecedented. Never before has the emissions-reduction strategy of one company directly involved its supply chain. With collaboration across the production cycle, Project Gigaton aims to avoid emissions from source to shelf.
To execute Project Gigaton, Walmart has teamed up with NGOs, including World Wildlife Fund, to design and implement the program. This initiative is designed to be a catalyst in global supply chains creating momentum around energy, agriculture, waste, packaging, deforestation and product use. If successful, Walmart and its suppliers will have avoided one gigaton (or 1 billion tons) of emissions, by 2030. Walmart itself is the first retailer with a verified science-based target emissions-reduction plan.
Walmart’s actions are not only beneficial to the environment, but are a sound business strategy that positively impacts the bottom line. By investing in solar energy, Walmart has helped to support jobs for American solar companies. Walmart is now one of America's leading commercial solar and on-site renewable energy users, and gets about 25 percent of its global energy from renewable sources. By doubling the efficiency of their U.S. fleet from 2005 to 2015, Walmart saved nearly $1 billion compared to a 2005 baseline.
Suppliers can participate in Project Gigaton through one of six programmatic areas:
- Energy – Setting energy and GHG targets; addressing renewables and energy efficiency
- Agriculture – Focusing on fertilizer optimization and animal waste
- Deforestation – Avoiding deforestation with emphasis around beef, soy, palm, and pulp and paper
- Packaging – Focusing specifically on recycled content and recycling
- Waste – Reducing solid and food waste and through product labelling
- Product Use – Improving energy efficiency of consumer products during the use-phase
For more information about Project Gigaton visit www.walmartsustainabilityhub.com/project-gigaton