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Nature

Nearly half of the world’s forests have already been lost, and continuous deforestation accounts for more than 10 percent of annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by humans. Agriculture is a key driver of this deforestation and ecosystem conversion.1

In support of this new nature ambition, the Forest and Agriculture pillars have been combined to form the Nature Pillar. Many of the same activities and questions are still included in this pillar, along with some additional restoration and conservation activities.

Recent studies show that expansion of certain agricultural commodities — such as cattle, soy, palm oil, wood fiber plantations, and cocoa — drive most tropical deforestation around the world.2 Stopping deforestation while also improving land and resource management practices on these commodities can have significant climate benefits. The adoption of best-in-class certifications and agricultural practices – including precision agriculture and feed optimization – can help reduce input costs, improve water quality, and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions all over the world.

Get Involved

As part of your Project Gigaton™ efforts to make a difference in this area, you may consider helping reduce emissions at the farm level. You could also join us in protecting and managing standing forests, participating in initiatives to restore critical forests or supporting landscape and jurisdictional approaches in key production regions and report to Project Gigaton™.

For example, you could commit to:

  • Optimize fertilizer use in corn production by using optical sensors, and aim for improving nutrient use efficiency of more than 20% across 1,000 acres by 2025.
  • Implement animal agriculture best practices to reduce enteric and manure emissions across 2 million acres by 2030.
  • Palm Oil & Paper: Source 100% certified sustainable palm oil (RSPO Segregated, Identity Preserved, NEXT, or equivalent standards) and/or pulp/paper/timber (FSC, SFI, or PEFC) in your company's supply chain by 2025.

The above goals are illustrative examples only. You’ll need to determine the desired impact, scope, and timeline that makes sense for your company and products. After joining Project Gigaton™, you’ll be asked to report on your progress annually so the impact can be recognized and attributed toward the Project Gigaton™ target.

  • Practical guidance for setting a nature target.
    As you consider your goal, make sure to check out the Project Gigaton™ Calculators, which may help you identify potential goal areas in each pillar and estimate the emissions impact of your work.

    Tips to Get Started


    Walmart developed its Basic, Better, Best framework to help suppliers engage in—and continuously improve on—regenerative practices. Our framework is informed by a robust consultation process where we worked with several prominent environmental non-profit organizations to identify, assess, and rank supplier activities that support positive nature outcomes for 13 priority commodities. The Basic, Better, Best framework is intended to help suppliers adopt a step-change approach towards adopting more robust, transparent, and traceable practices, with the goal of encouraging holistic place-based and jurisdictional projects that deliver environmental, economic, and social outcomes across entire landscapes.

    Walmart’s Basic, Better, Best framework recognizes three tiers of supplier performance on nature:

    Basic – source commodities using recognized certification programs and improvement projects, or using equivalent practices linked to positive outcomes for nature
    Better – source commodities using leading certification programs with additional nature practices, more robust traceability and/or social and economic indicators, or where certifications are unavailable, are produced using equivalent practices linked to positive outcomes for nature
    Best – source commodities and/or support jurisdictional or place-based approaches that more sustainably manage, restore and/or protect nature aligned to landscape/seascape needs, and linked to positive environmental, social and economic impacts


    The below table summarizes the certifications and practices recognized under Walmart’s FY22 Basic, Better, Best framework:


    CommoditiesBasicBetterBest
    ForestsCoffee / CocoaFair Trade USA Rainforest Alliance – Coffee, Rainforest Alliance - CocoaCredible Place-based, Jurisdictional Approach + Investments in Restoration, Conservation
    Palm OilRoundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) – mass balanced, Rainforest Alliance, International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC), Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO)RSPO - Segregated, RSPO - Identity Preserved
    Pulp / PaperProgramme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
    AgricultureCottonOrganic (USDA Organic or Equivalent, Global Organic Textile Standard, Organic Content Standard), Fair Trade USA Cotton, Cotton USA, Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)3
    SoyCefetra Responsible Soy*, Proterra Standard*Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS)
    Beef, Corn/Maize, Wheat, & Rice1+ nature positive practices linked to 2+ nature positive outcomes2+ nature positive practices linked to 4+ nature positive outcomes
    ProduceIntegrated Pest Management (IPM) certifications: Bee Better Certified, LEAF Marque, Equitable Food InitiativeIntegrated Pest Management (IPM) Certifications: Rainforest Alliance, Sustainability Standard, U.S. Department of Agriculture Organic or Equivalent, OR basic IPM certification with 1+ practice linked to 2+ nature positive outcomes
    OceansWild-Caught Tuna/Shrimp/SalmonGSSI-recognized certifications, Participation in Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) with definitive, ambitious goals, measurable metrics, and timebound milestonesMarine Stewardship Council (MSC)
    Farmed Shrimp/SalmonGlobal G.A.P., Participation in aquaculture improvement project (AIP) with definitive, ambition goals, measurable metrics, and timebound milestonesAquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), Best Aquaculture Practices Certification (BAP)
  • Are your goals SMART?
    Are your goal(s) SMART — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Time limited? Watch this video to learn how to set formal, specific goals that lead to substantially better returns.
  • How to calculate and report emissions saved.
    Each year, you’ll be asked to submit data points to Walmart based on the Project Gigaton™ pillars you’ve joined (Energy, Waste, etc.). For every pillar you report to, you’ll be asked to submit the impact of improvements you’ve achieved in the reporting year. There are three options for submitting data to Project Gigaton™ reporting:

    Option 1: For companies that need help calculating the greenhouse gas impact of their initiatives, let the Project Gigaton™ Calculators help! These calculators are available to help you report your progress during the annual Project Gigaton™ reporting period. They may also help you identify and estimate the emissions impact of future Project Gigaton™ goals.

    Option 2: If your company already reports to the CDP Climate Change Questionnaire each year, your disclosure can be leveraged to report emissions reductions to Project Gigaton™. To report to Project Gigaton™ using your CDP disclosure, you must grant permission through your company’s Project Gigaton™ account for Walmart to use your CDP data and all CC4.3b fields must be completed in your CDP disclosure. If you haven’t received a request to disclose from CDP but would like to volunteer to do so, or have questions about disclosure, please contact respond@cdp.net.

    Option 3: For companies that do not use the Project Gigaton™ Calculators or report their emissions reductions to the CDP Climate Change Questionnaire each year, you can still report your already calculated aggregate greenhouse gas emissions reductions to Project Gigaton™.

For additional questions about Project Gigaton™, refer to our FAQs.

Need a deep dive into calculating emissions? Check out our Project GigatonTM Accounting Methodology.

1 worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation
2 panda.org/discover/our_focus/forests_practice/deforestation_causes2
3 Walmart is a member of The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). Better Cotton is sourced via a system of Mass Balance and is not physically traceable to end products (see bettercotton.org/massbalance for details). BCI is the leading certification related to nature positive outcomes in the Basic category.

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