We must look further upstream to consider how raw material choices during product design will impact its overall carbon footprint — and downstream at the impact it has after it leaves the shelf.
Designers, manufacturers and brands have a unique opportunity to help deliver more efficient and innovative products to shelf by making smart, sustainable material choices in the design of their products. For energy-using products, smart, sustainable engineering choices can also help customers lower the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the use of the product.
Product manufacturers can drive positive change by delivering more innovative products to shelves by making smart, sustainable material choices in the design of their products. One example includes the incorporation of recycled content, which can reduce the overall carbon footprint of the product and contribute towards Project Gigaton™.
For example, you could commit to:
- Increase the use of recycled content materials in your product(s) by 20 percent by 2030.
- Commit to source 100% of paper or other pulp-based products using fiber that is certified to standards that limit deforestation by 2030.
- Increase your product(s) energy efficiency by 20 percent by the year 2030.
The above goals are illustrative examples only. You’ll need to determine the scope, timeline and type of goal 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 on setting goals for material choices during product design.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.
When developing a commitment to make smart, sustainable material choices during product design, please consider using the sustainable packaging priority areas outlined in the Walmart Sustainable Packaging Position Statement and Playbook, as the same principles to (1) optimize design, (2) source sustainably, and (3) support recycling can be applied to product design as well as packaging. In addition to identifying common opportunities for improvement, the Walmart Sustainable Packaging Position Statement and Playbook provides information about best practices, additional guidance and resources for each of these areas. Establishing a product design commitment will be unique for each company.
- Practical guidance on setting goals related to energy-efficient products.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.
When developing a commitment to improve the in-use energy efficiency of your product, consider reviewing guidance from voluntary certification and endorsement label programs like ENERGY STAR in the United States or the China Quality Certification Center in China; which identify energy efficiency performance thresholds/specifications for top-performing consumer products in categories like lighting, appliances, electronics, office equipment and more.
- Practical guidance on setting goals related to low-GWP refrigerants.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.
When developing a commitment to use or transition to low-GWP refrigerants in your products, consider reviewing national or local regulatory guidelines on acceptable refrigerant alternatives, such as the Significant New Alternatives Program (SNAP) in the United States, Climate-Friendly Alternatives to HFCs and HCFCs in the European Union, and First Catalogue of Recommended Substitutes for HCFCs in China.
- 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. In addition to being SMART, also consider whether your goals are ambitious enough to address the environmental challenges that we are facing globally.
- 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 to CDP but would like to volunteer to do so, or have questions about disclosure, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Gigaton™ Accounting Methodology.