Walmart Gets Suppliers to Reduce a Gigaton of Emissions

May 2, 2017
Unilever, General Mills, Dairy Farmers of America and Land O’ Lakes sign on to Project Gigaton.

Walmart in April launched Project Gigaton, a new supplier sustainability platform, to which a number of key food & beverage processors committed emissions reductions.

Through the initiative, Walmart is inviting suppliers to join in a commitment to eliminate 1 gigaton of emissions from their operations and supply chains. How much is 1 gigaton? It's the equivalent to taking more than 211 million passenger vehicles off of U.S. roads and highways for an entire year, Walmart says.

Walmart claims to be the first retailer with a verified, science-based target emissions-reduction plan. During its annual Milestone Summit in April, it received these commitments from suppliers:

  • Unilever committed 10 million metric tons (MMT) — 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 U.S., resulting in the carbon reduction of 10 million metric tons (CO2 equivalent) by 2030.
  • General Mills committed 5MMT — as part of it objective announced in 2015 to reduce the emissions of its full value chain to sustainable levels by 2050.
  • Dairy Farmers of America — will transition 150 high-emissions manure management systems for over 100,000 cows by 2030. In all, DFA expects two million cows will reduce enteric emissions through best practices and continuous improvement, including, genetic selection, diet optimization, rumen modifiers, and other solutions by 2030. The giant dairy co-op also expects one 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.
  • Land O’ Lakes committed 10MMT — 20,000 acres have been secured through the Land O’Lakes Sustain agronomy platform by 2025. 100 percent of farmer members' milk supply will be assessed through the Sustain platform by 2025.

In addition, the following suppliers committed to use the How2Recycle label: Campbell Soup, Ocean Spray, Nestle Waters, Reckitt Benckiser, Church & Dwight Co. and Unilever.

To help suppliers commit to or establish an emission reduction project, Walmart worked with NGOs and organizations to create an emissions reduction toolkit to help suppliers reduce emissions within their operations.

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