GUIDE: Navigate Walmart’s Project Gigaton

Project Gigaton is an ambitious initiative launched by Walmart in April 2017 to engage suppliers, NGOs, and other stakeholders in climate action. Through Project Gigaton, Walmart aims to reduce or avoid one billion metric tons – hence a gigaton — of greenhouse gasses from their global value chain by 2030.

To achieve this goal, Walmart works closely with its suppliers to improve its sustainability initiatives, focusing on areas like manufacturing, materials, and use of products. Project Gigaton targets six central impact pillars:

  1. Energy
  2. Waste
  3. Packaging
  4. Nature
  5. Transportation
  6. Product Use & Design

These six critical pillars represent the most significant portion of Walmart’s carbon footprint.

Requirement Updates to ‘Sparking Change’ and ‘Giga Guru’ Status

As of 2023, Walmart has made substantial updates to its requirements for companies to achieve ‘Sparking Change’ and ‘Giga Guru’ status. As of 2023, Walmart now requires suppliers to disclose Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions in order to maintain or obtain their status as a ‘Giga Guru.’

By forming Project Gigaton, Walmart is better positioned to track its own scope 3 emissions, as Walmart’s suppliers’ scope 1 & 2 emissions comprise the conglomerate’s scope 3.

Walmart’s Sustainability Goals & Commitments

Project Gigaton is just one part of Walmart’s broader sustainability efforts. Their larger overarching sustainability goals include:

  • Becoming a regenerative company
  • Zero emissions across global operations by 2040 without using carbon offsets
    • Harvesting enough wind, solar and other energy sources to power facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2035
    • Zeroing out emissions from all fleet vehicles, including long-haul trucks, by 2040
    • Transitioning to low-impact refrigerants for cooling and electrified equipment for heating in stores, clubs, data centers and distribution centers by 2040

{For a complete list of Walmart’s sustainability goals, visit their corporate sustainability page.}

Walmart’s ambition goes to show the leading role corporations can play in reducing their environmental footprint through promoting sustainable development.

GUIDE: How to Participate in Project Gigaton

As Project Gigaton forms a cornerstone of Walmart’s broader sustainability strategy, it offers an opportunity for suppliers to align their environmental objectives with those of one of the world’s largest retailers. This collaboration is not only beneficial for the environment but also fosters a culture of sustainable practices in businesses around the globe, promoting resilience, innovation, and competitiveness in the long term.

Whether you’re an existing supplier or a business looking to align its sustainability goals with Walmart’s, the following guide will provide insights on how to engage with Project Gigaton effectively. We will look closer at the key components, requirements, and potential benefits your business stands to gain from joining this worldwide effort towards a more sustainable future.

How to Participate in Project Gigaton

At its core, Project Gigaton is a reporting platform. Organizations must complete a series of steps and disclosures on the platform to become a Project Gigaton participant:

  • JOIN: Sign up to the Sustainability Portal and join Project Gigaton
  • SCOPE: A supplier will consider which of the six pillars — energy, water, packaging, nature, transportation and product use & design — aligns best with their company operations and commit to disclosing company activity practices around that pillar to Project Gigaton.
  • SET S.M.A.R.T. GOALS: Work with your organization to set emissions reduction goals and add them to your Project Gigaton Sustainability Portal. Companies can use Project Gigation’s Calculators to calculate GHG estimates from sustainability initiatives.
  • REPORT ANNUALLY: The opportunity to report on sustainability progress only happens once a year and is only accessible from the Sustainability Portal. The 2023 reporting period opens on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, and closes on Friday, November 3, 2023, during which time companies will answer Project Gigaton’s survey questions for each of the six pillars.
  • RECOGNITION: Walmart regularly features suppliers that have joined Project Gigaton and demonstrate progress through ‘Sparking Change’ and ‘Giga Guru’ statuses.
  • IMPLEMENT & REPEAT: After the reporting year is complete, companies will strategize and implement sustainability initiatives to make progress on commitments before the process is repeated again for the following year.
  • STEP 1: Create a Sustainability Portal account using your company’s Retail Link ID. Follow the prompts to add or update company information.
  • STEP 2: Customize your survey. Walmart will ask you a short set of questions about the business you conduct with Walmart.
  • STEP 3: Set up, update or add your company’s Project Gigaton goals.
  • STEP 4: Access will now be granted to your Project Gigaton dashboard to begin tracking company progress.

How SustainaBase Helps Companies Report to Walmart’s Project Gigaton

SustainaBase is a GHG data management platform that empowers companies to develop, manage, report and act on their carbon footprint. We help potential Project Gigaton companies save time and effort gathering operations and supply chain data, converting that data to accurate GHG metrics, and ensuring that the metrics are correct and ready to be disclosed publicly. Specifically, we help you by managing and tracking energy, waste, transportation and other data required for Walmart Project Gigaton reporting, as well as using the same data to obtain Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions numbers now required to maintain or achieve “Giga Guru” status with Project Gigaton.

In addition to making it easier to participate in Project Gigaton, a partnership with SustianaBase and the resulting robust GHGI data leaves companies better positioned to:

  1. Set a baseline emission reporting year
  2. Track emissions on an ongoing basis
  3. Document operational activities as emissions factors
  4. Manage GHG risks and identify reduction opportunities
  5. Publicly report and participate in other voluntary and mandatory GHG programs — such as CDP, SASB, etc.
  6. Receive recognition for their actions

For many companies, embarking on a sustainability journey can be overwhelming, particularly regarding initiatives as ambitious as Walmart’s Project Gigaton. The lack of expertise in understanding and quantifying GHG emissions often creates a significant hurdle. This is where we come in.

Our team is well-versed in sustainability, with a proven track record in the field. We serve as a company’s extended sustainability team, offering robust emissions data support on their journey towards reduced emissions.

A key aspect of our service is helping companies accurately calculate their carbon footprint across all scopes – scope 1 (direct emissions), scope 2 (indirect emissions from energy consumption), and scope 3 (indirect emissions from the company’s value chain). With our assistance, companies can accurately measure, monitor, and compare their emissions avoidance and reduction progress year-on-year instead of relying on rough estimates or guesses.

Our platform, SustainaBase, is particularly well-suited to support companies aiming to make improvements within the ‘Energy’ ‘Waste’ and ‘Transportation’ pillars of Project Gigaton while at the same time obtaining accurate Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions metrics. By leveraging the capabilities of SustainaBase, companies can effectively measure and reduce their energy consumption and transportation-related emissions, contributing significantly to the Project Gigaton goal.

Further, knowing one’s carbon footprint isn’t just about numbers and targets; it can also be transformed into a compelling asset. This data can help companies showcase their commitment to sustainability, educate customers, and build a stronger brand image.

Take our client, Hello Bello, as an example. Hello Bello utilized information from SustainaBase to craft a comprehensive sustainability page on their website. By openly sharing their environmental impact and ongoing efforts, they raise awareness and instill trust and goodwill among their consumers. See for yourself how they’ve turned sustainability data into a powerful tool for engagement here:

Designed to GHG Protocol Standards

All SustainaBase carbon accounting methodologies are GHG Protocol compliant.

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative is a multi-stakeholder partnership of businesses, NGOs, governments, and others. Launched in 1998, the GHG Protocol Initiative aims to develop internationally accepted greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting and reporting standards for business. These are the same standards Walmart uses in its methodology for Project Gigaton.

‘Sparking Change’ & ‘Giga Guru’ Status

Organizations who want to take Project Gigaton one step further can strive to achieve ‘Sparking Change’ or ‘Giga Guru’ status. These two statuses require an extra level of commitment and scrutiny, but those who achieve status are publicly recognized for having done so.

Walmart has recently elevated the criteria for its ‘Sparking Change’ and ‘Giga Guru’ statuses, underscoring its commitment to environmental responsibility. With the evolving sustainability landscape, these standards are anticipated to become even more stringent, mirroring the global trend towards heightened regulation and sophistication around GHG disclosures. Engaging a third-party service for carbon accounting can bolster the credibility of a company’s emissions data over in-house compiled figures, thereby reinforcing its commitment to accurate and transparent sustainability practices.

  • SMART Goal in 1 pillar
  • Report Impact in 1 pillar
  • Disclose permission of Logo
  • Disclose permission of Goal published
  • SMART Goal in 3 pillar or Science Based Target
  • Report Impact in 3 pillars
  • Disclose permission of Logo
  • Disclose permission of Goal published
  • NEW FOR 2023: Share Carbon Footprint (Scopes 1 & 2)

As organizations strive to meet the newly elevated ‘Sparking Change’ or ‘Giga Guru’ statuses, the need for accurate, reliable, and transparent carbon accounting becomes ever more critical. Achieving these statuses is a prestigious recognition of a company’s unwavering commitment to sustainability, but it requires navigating the stringent standards by showcasing a greater level of environmental responsibility. Here, our platform, SustainaBase, can be your game-changer.

SustainaBase is designed to handle the complex tasks of transforming and presenting your emissions data in a streamlined and understandable manner. Our platform goes beyond managing energy, waste, and transportation data. It translates this raw data into the critical scope 1 and 2 emissions data points now required for achieving and maintaining the ‘Giga Guru’ status.

In an evolving sustainability landscape, having a robust and reliable carbon accounting tool like SustainaBase provides a significant competitive edge. By entrusting your carbon accounting to SustainaBase, you can ensure adherence to Project Gigaton’s reporting requirements and position your organization favorably to meet future stricter sustainability regulations.

Transforming Sustainability Goals into Action with SustainaBase

Project Gigaton stands as a testament to Walmart’s commitment to sustainability, marking a pivotal moment for the retail giant and every supplier in its vast network. Yet, the complexities of such a comprehensive initiative can feel overwhelming.

This is where SustainaBase can provide significant value.

We are experts in simplifying the complexities of emissions data, making it easier for businesses to commit to, disclose, and master initiatives like Project Gigaton. Our platform is crafted to help you understand the rigorous benchmarks set by Walmart, manage your carbon footprint in real-time, and measure your performance against Project Gigaton’s standards.

By collaborating with SustainaBase, Walmart suppliers can transform Project Gigaton from an ambitious target into a measurable and rewarding journey toward sustainability. Beyond just meeting Walmart’s expectations, this engagement can act as a springboard to establishing a
establish a more resilient, environmentally conscious operations strategy for the future.


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SustainaBase Project Gigaton Case Study

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