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 most of tropical deforestation around the world.
Walmart has a Deforestation Policy with goals to source critical commodities produced with zero net deforestation, including Brazilian beef and soy, as well as private-brand palm oil and pulp and paper. 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.
How to Join
To join the Forests pillar of Project Gigaton, your company commit to one or all of the following opportunities for engagement in the Forest Pillar of Project Gigaton:
For example, you could submit a goal to:
Palm Oil: Source Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Mass Balance, Segregated, Identity Preserved, NEXT or equivalent standards in 100 percent of your company’s palm oil supply by 2020. Here is some practical guidance for sourcing sustainable palm oil. Measure and report palm use and sourcing information annually.
Soy: Support the indefinite extension of the Soy Moratorium in Brazil’s Amazon region. Use geospatial transparency tools with your suppliers and operations to help ensure that no soy production contributes to deforestation in Brazil. Support regional efforts and source certifications that promote sustainable production and reforestation efforts. Measure and report soy use and sourcing information annually.
Beef: Use geospatial transparency tools with 100% of fresh beef supply sourced from Brazil to help ensure that no beef production contributes to deforestation in any Brazilian natural forest biome by 2020. Support regional efforts that promote sustainable production, pasture management improvements, and reforestation efforts. Measure and report beef use and sourcing information annually.
Timber, Paper and Pulp: Source all timber, paper or other pulp-based products using either 100% recycled content and/or certified virgin fiber by 2020. Measure and report timber, paper, and pulp use and sourcing information for all supply annually.
Restoration Commitments: By 2020, provide technical assistance to support restoration for 10,000 hectares in target landscapes. Explore opportunities to inset restoration activities in the supply chain and financially support large-scale restoration initiatives.
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.
You may consider working on one of these areas as part of your Project Gigaton Forests efforts:
1) Help Reduce Deforestation due to the expansion of key commodities like palm oil, soy, beef, and pulp and paper.
2) Protect and Manage Standing Forests by Improving the management and protection of standing forests.
3) Restore Critical Forests by supporting restoration and reforestation initiatives to secure a long-term resource base
4) Support Landscape and Jurisdictional Approaches in key production regions that scale interventions that end forest loss.
Tips to get started
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.
Resources to Protect, Manage, or Restore Forests
If you’re considering initiatives to protect, manage, or restore forests, here is a list of projects you may investigate further and contacts who can help you learn more:
AFR100, Moringa Smallholder Program: A project within AFR100, a World Resources Institute-led initiative which aims to restore 100 million hectares of degraded land in Africa by 2030, the Moringa Smallholder Program plans to restore key water catchment areas in the Shire River Basin in Malawi. To support, contact Iain Church.
American Forests, Lower River Grande Valley: Goal to replant two million Texas thornscrub trees to newly acquired farmlands as they are added to National Wildlife Refuge units, protecting more than 500 species of birds and endangered species such as the ocelot. To support, contact Lindsey Putz.
American Forests, Ozarks and Appalachians/ White Oaks: Goal to restore five million white oaks, which filter important water supplies across seven U.S. states, and support thousands of jobs in the barrel-making and distilling industries. To support, contact Lindsey Putz.
American Forests, Sierra Nevada: Goal to replant at least five million climate-resilient trees across the Sierra Nevada and Southern Ranges in California, focusing on the most important water supply areas. To support, contact Lindsey Putz.
Conservation International, Amazon restoration project: The largest tropical restoration project to date, planning to restore 30,000 hectares, or approximately 73 million trees, in the Brazilian Amazon. To support, contact Lesley Mclaughlin.
The International Small Group Tree Planting Program (TIST): An initiative that works with groups of smallholder farmers in India, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda to plant trees in tens of thousands of individual project areas (17 million trees planted to date). To support, contact John Ambler.
Trillion Trees: Restoring forests at major deforestation fronts in Amazonia: Working with landowners across three major deforestation fronts in the Brazilian states of Acre, Amazonas, and Rondônia. Supporting rural producers to restore forests in compliance with Brazil’s Forest Code. To support, contact Anna Halton.
Trillion Trees, Restoration of the Annamese Lowland forest reserve: Working with local communities in the buffer zone around this forest reserve in Vietnam to restore three parcels of land, strengthening the ecological integrity of the reserve. To support, contact Bryna Griffin.
Trillion Trees: Restoration of the tropical montane forests of Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda: Working to restore the more than 100,000 hectares of Africa’s largest protected montane forest. To support, contact Tim Rayden.
Resources to Support Landscape and Jurisdictional Approaches
We also encourage interested suppliers to signal leadership by engaging with jurisdictional approaches, such as commitments to support locally-led, multi-stakeholder initiatives advancing jurisdictional actions to stop deforestation. These actions will vary by jurisdiction, but could include:
Becoming involved in a jurisdiction through a local initiative.
Committing to source from jurisdictions that are pursuing, or have achieved, deforestation-free status.
Providing funds and/or technical support to extension centers, projects, and the establishment of local initiatives.
Below is a list of leading jurisdictional initiatives that you may choose to engage in.
Beef & Soy from Mato Grosso, Brazil: Produce, Conserve, and Include strategy (http://pci.mt.gov.br/ and http://pcimonitor.org/). For more information, contact email@example.com.
Palm oil sourcing from Sabah, Malaysia: Jurisdictional Certification Steering Committee. For more information, contact Lloyd.Gamble@wwfus.org
Palm oil, coffee, cocoa and rubber sourcing from North Sumatra and Aceh, Indonesia: Coalition for Sustainable Livelihoods. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Market-Based Approaches: Commit to adopting the Collaboration for Forests and Agriculture Protocol in the Amazon, Cerrado and Gran Chaco. For more information contact email@example.com
Forest Management Projects: Support the protection and management of working forest lands like TNC’s Working Woodlands project.
Forest Protection Projects: Fund the better management of protected areas in key forested geographies. Some sample projects include: Alto Mayo, Chyulu Hills, and Earth for Life.
- 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. If you haven’t received a request to disclose from 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.