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.
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 goal style that could be submitted as part of Project Gigaton – you’ll need to determine the scope, timeline and type of goal that makes sense for your company and products. Formal, specific goals lead to substantially better returns and are an important part of being eligible to be recognized by Walmart; so, when setting a new goal, make sure it’s SMART. SMART goals are:
- Specific – what’s your impact area?
- Measurable – can you measure progress?
- Achievable – is this a reasonable goal?
- Relevant – does this fit into your strategy?
- Time limited – by when?
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 an energy 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.
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:
- Alliance to Save Energy (ASE)
- American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE)
- Better Buildings Alliance (BBA) Initiative of the DOE
- Renewable Energy Buyers' Alliance (REBA) initiative
- Business Renewables Center (BRC), an RMI initiative
- Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers' Principles, a WWF initiative
- Charge, a WRI initiative
- Future of Internet Power, a BSR initiative
- 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, 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. For the purposes of Project Gigaton, “low carbon energy” is considered to be any type of energy that will have no direct emissions and of which the indirect emissions are considered as negligible considering the life cycle of the given technology. This includes power technologies such as wind, solar, tidal, geothermal and most hydro power. Project Gigaton also includes nuclear energy. 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 in the Project Gigaton’s definition of low carbon energy.
- How will you calculate and report emissions saved each year?
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 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.
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.