Forests are crucial to life on earth. They provide wildlife habitat, purify the water we drink and the air we breathe, and absorb carbon from the atmosphere. But they are vulnerable to pressures from expanding agriculture and industry. How can your business make an impact in reducing deforestation?
Nearly half of the world’s forests have already been lost, and continuing deforestation accounts for more than 10 percent of annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by humans. Recent studies show that expansion of certain agricultural commodities—such as palm oil, soy, cattle – as well as pulp production for paper products —drive the majority of tropical deforestation around the world.
Walmart invites suppliers to join us in working to reduce deforestation through innovative sourcing strategies and the use of technology to increase transparency and supply chain accountability. We also support regional efforts and certifications to reduce forest loss and deliver sustainable commodities, such as our private brand palm oil and Brazilian beef. As outlined in our 2025 commitment, we will expand our work to source more commodities produced with zero net deforestation by focusing on additional critical commodities, including all Brazilian soy and private-brand pulp and paper. We invite our suppliers to join us on this journey.
How to Join
To join the Deforestation pillar of Project Gigaton, your company should set a goal to sustainably source palm oil, soy, beef or pulp and paper.
For example, you could submit a goal to:
- Commit to achieving zero net deforestation by 2020 through sustainably sourcing commodities.
- Palm Oil: Commit to sourcing Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil NEXT (RSPO NEXT) or equivalent standards in 100 percent of your company’s palm oil supply by 2020.
- Soy: Support the indefinite extension of the Soy Moratorium in Brazil’s Amazon region. Commit to using geospatial transparency tools with your suppliers and operations to ensure that no soy contributes to deforestation in Brazil. Support regional efforts and certifications that promote sustainable production and reforestation efforts.
- Beef: Use geospatial transparency tools with your fresh beef suppliers and beef operations to help ensure that no beef sourced contributes to deforestation in Brazil. Support regional efforts that promote sustainable production, pasture management improvements, and reforestation efforts.
- Paper and Pulp: Commit to source paper products and virgin fiber that is certified to standards that prohibit deforestation by 2020. Certify to standards with the strongest requirements against deforestation, namely Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), or PEFC in specific countries.
The above goals are illustrative examples only and by no means the only goal style that could be submitted as part of Project Gigaton – you’ll need to determine the scope, timeline and type of goal that makes sense for your company and products. After submitting a goal using the button below, you’ll be asked to report on your progress annually so the impact can be recognized and attributed toward the Project Gigaton one gigaton reduction target.
- Practical guidance for setting a deforestation target
Follow these steps to set and implement your deforestation-related efforts.
1. Evaluate your status: Start by assessing your current efforts to benchmark where you are and identify areas for improvement, using the stepwise approach below.
2. Develop your plan: After identifying the maturity of your deforestation-related efforts, develop your plan for improvement.
- What will you report each year and how will it be converted to GHGs?
Each year, you’ll be asked to submit data points to Walmart based on the Project Gigaton pillars you’ve joined (Energy, Waste, Agriculture, etc.). For Deforestation, you’ll be asked to submit the impact of palm oil, beef, or paper and pulp improvements you’ve achieved in a given calendar year. There are multiple options for submitting data to Project Gigaton reporting depending on the type of impact you’ve achieved. In future reporting years, you will be able to report impacts from sustainably sourced soy to Project Gigaton.
Sustainably Sourced Palm Oil
If you’ve worked to sustainably source palm oil, use the RSPO GHG Calculator to estimate avoided emissions from purchasing RSPO NEXT and/or Rainforest Alliance certified palm oil or equivalents. The avoided emissions estimate produced by the RSPO GHG Calculator will be your input for Project Gigaton reporting.
Sustainably Sourced Beef
If you’ve worked to sustainably source beef, you'll be asked to submit the following data points for Project Gigaton reporting. Only beef sourced from Brazil and verified as deforestation-free using AgroTools or Terras can be submitted toward Project Gigaton at this time.
- Source country and region
- Tool (AgroTools or Terras)
- Carcass weight of beef in metric tonnes
Once data has been submitted, the avoided greenhouse gas equivalency will be calculated using the formula below, following the approach outlined by Cederberg et al. 2011:
Variable Description Source Fresh beef mass verified deforestation free from packers in Brazil Fresh beef mass sourced from packers in Brazil (metric tonnes meat per year) and verified as deforestation free by AgroTools or Terras Supplier-reported GHG conversion factor 5 metric tonnes CO2e avoided per metric tonne fresh beef verified as deforestation free (Amazon regional average)
Calculated using Brazil National Reference Level for REDD UNFCCC
Data from INPE National Institute for Space research
Includes 20 year allocation per IPCC legacy emissions guidelines
Sustainably Sourced Paper and Pulp
If you’ve worked to sustainably source paper and pulp, you'll be asked to submit the following data points for Project Gigaton reporting. Only the use of certified pulp and paper or recycled content can be submitted toward Project Gigaton at this time.
Certified pulp and paper
- Source country
- Certification type (FSC, SFI, PEFC in specific countries)
- Metric tonnes of certified pulp and paper sourced
- Metric tonnes of recycled content
Once data has been submitted, the avoided greenhouse gas equivalency will be calculated using the formula below:
Variable Description Source Mass of responsible pulpwood sourced Metric tonnes/year of certified pulpwood sourced from virgin fiber (FSC, SFI, PEFC in specific countries) OR metric tonnes of recycled content Supplier-reported GHG conversion factor
.05 metric tonnes CO2e avoided per metric tonne responsible pulp
This factor is calculated using FAO 2015 data and IPCC guidance as follows: [GHG emissions caused by deforestation associated with pulpwood / total global production of uncertified pulp] / 20 years
FAO STAT 2015
IPCC guidance on legacy emissions
If you believe you have a deforestation initiative that should be counted toward Project Gigaton, but isn’t covered by the guidance listed above, please tell us about it by contacting email@example.com.
For additional information about Project Gigaton, refer to the Frequently Asked Questions.