Setting an Emissions Target

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can seem daunting, but there are time-tested and cost-effective strategies designed to help address this challenge.

There are multiple ways to reduce or avoid emissions in your operations or supply chain and Project Gigaton™ is purposefully designed to allow every supplier to participate, no matter what type of product or service you sell. The first step is setting a goal. You can do this one of two ways:

  1. A broad emissions reduction target that captures Scope 1, Scope 2, and possibly Scope 3 emissions. In order to set this type of target, companies must first measure their carbon footprint.
  2. For suppliers just getting started on their emissions reduction journey, setting an emissions reduction target in one or more of six key areas – Energy, Waste, Packaging, Nature, Transportation, or Product Use – might be the right place to start.

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So, what type of emissions reduction goal(s) should your company set? While we encourage you to aim for an ambitious Science-Based Target, your goal should reflect the maturity of your company’s sustainability program. For example, you could consider committing to:

  • Achieve a 20 percent absolute reduction in emissions by 2030 compared to a 2020 baseline.
  • Achieve a science-based target by reducing absolute emissions 50 percent by 2030 compared to a 2020 baseline and achieving net zero by 2050.

    Again, these are just examples. You’ll need to determine the scope, timeline and type of goal that makes sense for your company and products. View the goal formats that you can set in Project Gigaton™.

    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. The following are guides to help you set an emissions target and calculate and report emissions saved annually:

    As you work on setting goals, 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. These calculators are a mirror of what you will see when you go to report your activities during the reporting season. Then take a look at the goal templates you can use to set goals in Project Gigaton™.

    Companies are encouraged to set “Enterprise Level” emissions reductions goals that include emissions from your own operations and purchased energy (Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions) and value chain emissions (Scope 3 emissions) when they are able. When it comes to setting Science-Based Targets (SBT), there are several methods available to you. The method a company chooses to use depends on its particular circumstances. Find out more about how to begin setting your own SBT.

    View more information on measuring your carbon footprint.

    Strategy frameworks such as the Carbon Productivity Portfolio can be useful when developing your company’s emissions reduction plans and goals. Organizations like Climate Corps Graduate Fellowship Program and many consulting firms offer professional and technical services to help you develop goals and expand your program.

    Tools such as the Carbon Target and Profit Calculator can also be used to quickly estimate the potential value of goals for your company. Reviewing case studies can provide additional insights into how other companies think about goal setting and their implementation plans.

    Many organizations work with businesses in their efforts to build or improve emission reduction strategies. Some of these organizations include:



    Video Primers

    Are your goal(s) SMART — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Time-limited? Watch this video to learn how to set formal, specific goals that can 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.

    Each year, you’ll be asked to submit data to Walmart including your total Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and your project-based avoided or reduced emissions within the six Project Gigaton™ pillars (Energy, Waste, Packaging, Nature, Transportation, or Product Use). There are two options for reporting on your reduced or avoided emissions in Project Gigaton™:

    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: You can report your already calculated greenhouse gas emissions reductions to Project Gigaton™ within the Project Gigaton™ pillars or for your company overall. Only emissions reductions that occurred during the reporting year should be reported.

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

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