Forests are crucial to life on earth. They provide wildlife habitat, purify the water we drink and the air we breathe, and absorb carbon from the atmosphere. But they are vulnerable to pressures from expanding agriculture and industry. How can your business make an impact in supporting our forests?
Nearly half of the world’s forests have already been lost, and continuing deforestation accounts for more than 10 percent of annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by humans. Recent studies show that expansion of certain agricultural commodities – such as palm oil, soy, cattle – as well as pulp production for paper products – drive the majority of tropical deforestation around the world.
Walmart invites suppliers to join us in working to support our forests through innovative sourcing strategies and the use of technology to increase transparency and supply chain accountability. We also support regional efforts and certifications to reduce forest loss and deliver sustainable commodities. Walmart has a 2020 commitment to source critical commodities produced with zero net deforestation, including all Brazilian soy and private-brand timber, pulp and paper. We invite our suppliers to join us on this journey.
How to Join
To join the Forests pillar of Project Gigaton, your company should commit to sustainably source palm oil, beef, or timber, pulp and paper.
For example, you could submit a goal to:
- Commit to achieving zero net deforestation by 2020 through sustainably sourcing commodities.
- Palm Oil: Commit to sourcing Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil NEXT (RSPO NEXT) or equivalent standards in 100 percent of your company’s palm oil supply by 2020.
- Beef: Use geospatial transparency tools with your fresh beef suppliers and beef operations to help ensure that no beef sourced contributes to deforestation in Brazil. Support regional efforts that promote sustainable production, pasture management improvements, and reforestation efforts.
- Timber, Paper and Pulp: Commit to source paper or other pulp-based products using either recycled content and/or virgin fiber that is certified to standards that prohibit deforestation by 2020.
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 for setting a forests goal
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.
Major sources of emissions from deforestation are caused by land use change to allow for agriculture or other industry. Land use change includes deforestation and grasslands conversion, forest degradation, drained peat lands or peat fires, and other activities. Emissions reductions occur when any of these activities are stopped or slowed.
Follow these steps to set and implement your forests-related efforts.
1. Evaluate your status: Start by assessing your current efforts to benchmark where you are and identify areas for improvement, using the stepwise approach below.
2. Develop your plan: After identifying the maturity of your forests-related efforts, develop your plan for improvement.
- 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.