Energy, it powers our economy – and it’s often produced through the burning of fossil fuels, a leading cause of global emissions. The business case for renewable, more efficient energy is clearer than ever. What’s stopping your company from taking the next step toward a low-carbon, resilient energy system?

Energy, usually in the form of electricity for day-to-day operations or vehicle fuel, often comprises one of the highest costs a business incurs. At Walmart, we’ve seen the bottom line benefits of energy efficiency and renewable power and have committed to do more in the future. The strong business case associated with energy is often why this is the first entry point into sustainability for many companies.

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How to Join


Energy related emissions can be addressed in two main ways. The first way is to reduce energy demand through optimization and efficiency. The second way is to transition to energy sources that are renewable and emit little to no carbon. To join the Energy pillar of Project Gigaton, your company should commit to reduce the emissions from energy use through optimization, efficiency, and/or the transition to renewable or low-carbon energy sources. Furthermore, if your company has made substantial progress in your direct operations, consider setting a target for your suppliers.

For example, you could commit to:

  • Reduce energy intensity per square foot by 30 percent in all facilities by 2030.
  • Source 50 percent of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030.
  • Work with your suppliers to have energy efficiency programs that include targets out to 2030.

The above goals are illustrative examples only and by no means the only commitment style that could be submitted as part of Project Gigaton – you’ll need to determine the scope, timeline, and type of targets that makes sense for your company and products. Perhaps you’re just getting started and you’re not ready for a time bound commitment, that’s ok too, just commit to do something on energy. After submitting a commitment 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 reduction target.

Practical guidance on setting an energy target

There are several programs like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star Program for Buildings and Plants and Retail Industry Leaders Association’s (RILA) recent Retail Energy Management Leadership Model that provide roadmaps to help energy managers optimize their energy programs.

After identifying where you are on your energy journey and general opportunities for improvement, set a goal and submit it to Project Gigaton using the link at the bottom of this page. Remember, energy goals can be focused on reducing energy demand (i.e. efficiency), low-carbon or renewable energy sourcing, or both. Goals focused on your direct operations emissions, from both fleet and facility, are a great place to start. However, as you move further down your energy journey, consider working with your upstream value chain suppliers. Walmart has engaged with its suppliers in China using RedE, a digital tool developed by McKinsey that provides a systematic approach to identify, size and track implementation of energy efficiency initiatives. More information can be found in the Resources and Downloads section at the bottom of this page.

There are several organizations that work to remove the barriers to achieving a low-carbon, affordable future. Some examples include:

Energy Efficiency
Alliance to Save Energy (ASE)
American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE)
Better Buildings Alliance (BBA) Initiative of the DOE

Renewable Energy
Renewable Energy Buyers' Alliance (REBA) initatives

Transport Sustainability
Future of Fuels a BSR initiative
Green Freight an EDF initiative
SmartWay, an EPA program
NACFE, a RMI initiative
Trucking Efficiency, a RMI and CWR initiative

As stated in the CDP Climate Change Reporting Guidance for 2017, there is no precise, generally accepted definition of what “low carbon energy” is. No definition is found in either the GHG Protocol standards or ISO. Nevertheless, it can be reasonably established that “low carbon energy” will be any type of energy that will have no direct emissions and which the indirect emissions can usually be considered as negligible considering the life cycle of the given technology. It is generally accepted as such power technologies like wind, solar, tidal, geothermal and most hydro power. Nuclear power is also usually considered low carbon, although other considerations make it a more contentious technology. Natural gas, combined cycle gas turbine and Combined Heat and Power (cogeneration), despite being less carbon intensive than other means of electricity production, like coal, are not considered here in the definition of low carbon.

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 Energy, you’ll be asked to submit the impact of improvements you’ve achieved in a given calendar year. If you’ve worked on reducing energy demand or transitioning to renewable or low-carbon energy sources, there are two options for submitting data to Project Gigaton reporting:

Option 1: If your company already reports to the CDP Climate Change Questionnaire each year, this information can be leveraged to report emissions reductions related to energy for Project Gigaton. Specifically, emissions reductions quantified and reported in CDP question CC3.3b (under “energy efficiency”, “low carbon energy purchases”, “transportation”, “behavioral change”, “non-energy process” or “fugitive emissions reductions”) can be used to determine the emissions reductions you report to the Energy pillar. The following CC3.3b fields should be completed:

  • Activity type
  • Description of activity
  • Estimated annual metric tons CO2e savings
  • Scope
  • Estimated lifetime of the initiative
  • Comment

Please use the 2017 CDP Climate Change Reporting Guidance to properly respond to question CC3.3b. Per CDP guidance, non-energy process and fugitive emissions may be included. There is no need to record every action – initiatives can be grouped together and recorded on a programmatic level (e.g. all lighting upgrades across your global business can be reported as one line item). It is also important to specify the expected lifetime of the initiative if it will continue to drive additional emissions reductions after the initial year.

Option 2: For companies that have not responded to the CDP Climate Change Questionnaire, specifically question CC3.3b, or who have implemented energy projects but are unable to calculate the greenhouse gas impacts, you can still report to Project Gigaton by submitting the following data points which align with CDP question CC3.3b:

  • Activity type
  • Description of activity
  • Information about the energy project implemented:
    • Emission source type (e.g. electricity, fuel combustion, refrigerant, etc)
    • Grid region, for electricity projects (e.g. ERCOT, Mexico, etc)
    • Unit type, for non-electricity projects (e.g. fuel type, refrigerant type, other)
    • Total annual amount saved for activity
    • Unit of measure (e.g. kWh, kg, therm, etc)
  • Scope
  • Estimated lifetime of the initiative
  • Comment

Additional guidance for responding, e.g. activity type descriptions, can be found in the 2017 CDP Climate Change Reporting Guidance (starting on page 56).

Once data has been submitted, the greenhouse gas equivalency will be calculated using emissions factors from the GHG Protocol and the Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Database (eGRID).

Additional guidance on reporting low carbon energy purchases

If you are reporting your electricity footprint using a market-based Scope 2 calculation, you can only report new renewable energy purchases in the reporting year toward Project Gigaton. While you might be continuing historical or existing purchases of any renewable energy instruments, only new activities that are additional to what you were already doing can be reported each year to Project Gigaton.

For additional information about Project Gigaton, refer to the Frequently Asked Questions.

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