Walmart Hits Goal to Reduce 1 Billion Tons of Supply Chain Emissions 6 Years Ahead of 2030 Target – ESG Today

Retail giant Walmart announced today that it has achieved its goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 1 billion metric tons across its product supply chain, hitting the milestone accomplishment 6 years ahead of its 2030 target.

The target was initially set by Walmart in 2017, at the launch of the company’s Project Gigaton, its initiative to engage suppliers, as well as NGOs and other stakeholders, in climate action to reduce or avoid a gigaton of GHG emissions from Walmart’s global value chain by 2030. Walmart reported that to date, more than 5,900 suppliers have signed on to the initiative.

On a conference call discussing the company’s 2024 fiscal year earnings, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon highlighted the accomplishment. McMillon said:

“In 2017, we announced a bold ambition to work with our suppliers to reduce, avoid, or sequester one gigaton, that’s 1 billion metric tons, of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. We call it Project Gigaton. Our merchants and suppliers got to work and made investments in practical things like energy efficiency, packaging redesign, and load optimization. We’ve reported steady progress since then, and we’re excited to say that our suppliers have now reported projects exceeding that 1 billion metric ton mark six years early.”

Under Project Gigaton, Walmart asked suppliers to set emissions reduction targets, and take actions to reduce emissions across six key areas, including energy use, nature, waste, packaging, transportation and product use and design. The initiative was designed to accommodate suppliers at various levels of emissions reduction readiness and capability, working with suppliers at earlier stages on setting goals in one of the six categories to more advanced companies working on multiple categories.

Over the past several years, Walmart has announced a series of initiatives and partnerships to help support the supply chain emissions reduction goal, including launching Gigaton PPA with Schneider Electric, aimed at educating suppliers on renewable energy purchasing and accelerating renewable energy adoption through aggregate power purchase agreements (PPAs), as well as establishing a supply chain finance program with HSBC and CDP, incentivizing and helping suppliers to set science-based emissions reduction targets and hit CDP environmental scores.

In a post highlighting the achievement, Walmart Chief Sustainability Officer, and President of the Walmart Foundation, Kathleen McLaughlin, said that the company is working to improve and expand Project Gigaton, with targeted actions including enhancing its estimates of its Scope 3 footprint, assessing which elements of its value chain emissions are addressable, and which are out of its control, and identifying emissions reductions that can be achieved through low-cost interventions, as well as those that are expensive or not feasible with current technology.

McLaughlin said:

“We hope Project Gigaton will continue to set the standard for corporate climate action — because a more sustainable supply chain is a more resilient one. A more resilient supply chain isn’t just better for our business, it’s better for people, communities and the planet.”