As population increases globally, our food and other resource systems face greater stress to meet the growing demand, driving degradation and fragmentation of our ecosystems.1 We have learned that in addition to our 2016 goal to more sustainably source at least 20 key commodities by 2025 and our Project Gigaton™ program, more work is needed to address nature loss. In response to the growing climate crisis and to help combat the cascading loss of nature, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping protect, restore, or more sustainably manage at least 50 million acres of land and one million square miles of ocean by 2030.
We plan to achieve our aspiration by working with suppliers to advance product sourcing and certifications that drive positive impacts for nature. By aligning these actions to landscape/seascape needs and local stakeholder goals, we aim to help create positive environmental, social, and economic impacts.
- How we will get thereGet Involved
- Set a S.M.A.R.T. Goal for Nature.
- Report through the Nature Pillar of the Project Gigaton™ platform.
- Make continuous improvement through our Basic, Better, Best Framework (described below)
Walmart suppliers are encouraged to adopt nature-friendly policies and certifications, participate in established place-based projects, and develop more sustainably-sourced product and ingredient lines. Suppliers can share their progress toward these objectives by annually reporting through the Nature Pillar of the Project Gigaton™ platform.
Walmart has developed a 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:
Commodities Basic Better Best Forests Coffee / Cocoa Fair Trade USA Rainforest Alliance – Coffee, Rainforest Alliance - Cocoa Credible Place-based, Jurisdictional Approach + Investments in Restoration, Conservation Palm Oil Roundtable 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 / Paper Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Agriculture Cotton Organic (USDA Organic or Equivalent, Global Organic Textile Standard, Organic Content Standard), Fair Trade USA Cotton, Cotton USA, Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)2 Soy Cefetra Responsible Soy*, Proterra Standard* Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS) Beef, Corn/Maize, Wheat, & Rice 1+ nature positive practices linked to 2+ nature positive outcomes 2+ nature positive practices linked to 4+ nature positive outcomes Produce Integrated Pest Management (IPM) certifications: Bee Better Certified, LEAF Marque, Equitable Food Initiative Integrated 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 Oceans Wild-Caught Tuna/Shrimp/Salmon GSSI-recognized certifications, Participation in Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) with definitive, ambitious goals, measurable metrics, and timebound milestones Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Farmed Shrimp/Salmon Global G.A.P., Participation in aquaculture improvement project (AIP) with definitive, ambition goals, measurable metrics, and timebound milestones Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), Best Aquaculture Practices Certification (BAP)
To learn more about how Walmart measures progress, please reference the Gigaton Accounting Methodology.
- Report through Project Gigaton
- For seafood commodities, report through Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) Metrics Table
- Get involved in a place-based project
- Learn about priority commodities:
Place-Based Initiatives: Addressing Systems-Level Threats to Nature
Walmart encourages suppliers to join other stakeholders in collective actions to address systems-level challenges from commodity production that are leading to nature loss in many of the most vulnerable and biodiverse regions of the world. Suppliers can do this by engaging in, investing in, and sourcing from credible place-based initiatives. Place-based initiatives include landscape, seascape and jurisdictional sustainability initiatives.
What are place-based initiatives?
Commodity production from the agriculture, forestry and seafood sectors supports economic growth and food systems around the world, but unsustainable production can drive negative ecosystem impacts (e.g., on forests, biodiversity, water quality), undermining productivity and exacerbating the climate crisis. Supplier efforts to adopt regenerative practices in their supply chains are a critical step, but no company can resolve nature loss alone, nor can individual governments or other stakeholders. Innovative collaborations among companies, governments and civil society, however, show increasing potential to tackle underlying challenges like land use planning or lack of opportunities for sustainable livelihoods. And collaboration is essential to meet climate and nature goals set by the world’s leading companies, including Walmart and many of its suppliers.
Place-based initiatives bring together diverse stakeholders in productive landscapes and seascapes for these exact reasons – to identify shared goals, strategies, and resources to achieve sustainability at large geographic scales, like a state, province, or eco-region. These strategies may include pre-competitive actions like mapping high-conservation value areas across an entire jurisdiction or delivering capacity and incentives to farmers to use more productive and sustainable practices. Landscape, jurisdictional approaches and jurisdictional REDD+ programs3 are all types of place-based initiatives that share this common DNA, and they touch down in dozens of places around the world that need teamwork to succeed.
Walmart seeks to connect suppliers with place-based initiatives that show potential to deliver positive nature impacts at the landscape and seascape levels. Importantly, all of the projects listed on this page have been vetted for alignment with landscape, seascape, or jurisdictional strategies and may provide opportunities to drive protection, sustainable management and/or restoration at meaningful scales. We encourage suppliers to learn more about these initiatives and to get involved.
- Priority landscapes and seascapes search by commodityCurrently, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are focusing our efforts on emerging initiatives that are already showing positive impact to natural ecosystems and livelihoods. We will continue to expand the list of priority landscapes and seascapes and encourage suppliers to engage in credible place-based and jurisdictional initiatives anywhere they source from.
Walmart encourages suppliers to engage in jurisdictional and place-based projects that more sustainably manage, restore, and/or protect nature aligned to landscape/seascape needs, and linked to positive environmental, social and economic impacts. To help provide an initial list of some of these projects, Walmart worked with leading environmental non-profits and asked them to submit jurisdictional and place-based initiatives that they believe are on a path to credibility, as defined by the core criteria developed with leading environmental nonprofits. This project list is not exhaustive and Walmart is not endorsing them, but rather providing visibility for consideration. To view the project list, click here.
If you are a nonprofit organization participating in a place-based initiative and would like to feature your initiative here, please submit the project information through this intake form. Please email email@example.com with your intake form. Title your email, “Nature Pipeline Project Intake Form”
If you feel that we have missed projects that meet the core criteria, which can be found on page 1 of the intake form, please have the implementing organization submit them for review.
- Measuring ImpactIn addition to sourcing from and investing in place-based initiatives, we encourage suppliers to report their goals and progress through the Nature Pillar of the Project Gigaton™ platform. A new Nature Pillar and simplified questionnaires will be available for the 2021 reporting season, and you can learn more about them here. For seafood, please report through Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) Metrics.
- ResourcesFor detailed knowledge resources on place-based initiatives and ways that companies can get involved, please refer to this short reading list or the Jurisdictional Resources Hub on the Tropical Forest Alliance Webpage.
The Walmart Foundation supports and invests in enabling conditions for jurisdictional programs worldwide. To learn more about those investments and strategy, visit Walmart.org.
Praise for Our 2020 Nature Commitment
"The choices we make today will fundamentally determine our long-term resilience to the biodiversity and climate crises, which is why we must rapidly scale up the protection and restoration of nature in the next few years. Walmart’s investments in our lands and oceans are a significant milestone for these efforts – and a testament to the fact that investing in nature benefits both businesses and local communities. Conservation International is proud to have partnered with Walmart on the science behind this commitment, and we look forward to turning today’s announcement into real impacts for people and the planet.” — Dr. M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International
“The world is experiencing an historic loss of biodiversity that undermines economic opportunity, food and water security, and community resilience,” stated Jennifer Morris, CEO, The Nature Conservancy. “We need to value nature appropriately and immediately, so we can stop degradation and restore biodiversity, upon which we all rely. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s new goals are a demonstration of leadership that can help galvanize important action in the private sector.”
2 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.
3 Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) is described in Article 5 of the Paris Agreement and recognizes the outsized importance of forests in combatting climate change.