Walmart Hits Gigaton Emissions Avoidance Goal Early

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by | Feb 23, 2024

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Walmart said it has reached its goal to reduce, avoid, or sequester 1 gigaton, or 1 billion metric tons, of greenhouse gas emissions with its suppliers in product value chains. 

The retail giant set this goal, dubbed the Gigaton Project, in 2017, with the hopes of achieving it by 2030. 

“Today, 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,” Kathleen McLaughlin, executive vice president and chief sustainability officer, Walmart, and President of the Walmart Foundation, said in a statement.

Walmart’s Emissions Strategy

To work on the Gigaton Project, Walmart tapped several experts across value chains and scientists, including World Wildlife Fund, Environmental Defense Fund, World Resources Institute, and CDP. These institutions helped Walmart with advice on how to estimate emissions, set their pace for emission reductions, identify ways to lower emissions, and with resources to build supplier capability in emissions reduction and measurement.

Walmart asked their suppliers to come up with immediate, significant, and sustained action when the project first launched in 2017, with science-based, concrete goals and practical projects focused on the most relevant sources of emissions in value chains, such as energy use or agricultural practices. The project involved 5,900 of Walmart’s suppliers.

Related Content: General Mills, Walmart Team Up in Regenerative Agriculture Initiative

The program did vary for suppliers depending on their readiness and capability of undertaking GHG emissions reduction projects. The retailer also provided support to suppliers across goal-setting, action, and reporting. Walmart also built and offered the Circular Connector, an online tool targeting sustainable packaging, and Factory Energy Efficiency tools, plus its renewable energy accelerator Gigaton PPA to extend renewable energy procurement for suppliers.

Goals Remain in Place

Walmart said that despite reaching its goal six years early, the company will continue with Project Gigaton, working to improve and expand it to reach zero operational emissions — Scopes 1 and 2 — by 2040.

The retailer will also look at its Scope 3 emissions in the future.

“We are assessing which elements of our Scope 3 footprint are addressable and which elements are largely outside our control, which reductions can be achieved through low-cost interventions, and which ones are expensive or not feasible through today’s technology,” Walmart said in a statement.

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