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

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.

What will you report each year and how will it be converted to GHGs?

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 palm oil, beef, or timber, paper and pulp sourcing improvements you’ve achieved in the reporting year. There are three options for submitting Forests data to Project Gigaton reporting:

Option 1: 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 the following CC4.3b fields must be completed in your CDP disclosure:

  • Activity type and description
  • Estimated annual metric tons CO2e savings
  • Scope
  • Estimated lifetime of the initiative
  • Percent of CO2e savings dedicated toward Project Gigaton (assumed to be 100% unless otherwise noted)

Please use the CDP Climate Change Reporting Guidance to properly respond to question CC4.3b. If you haven’t received a request to disclose from CDP but would like to volunteer to do so, please contact and CDP will help you get started.

Option 2: For companies that do not 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 by providing the following:

  • Estimated annual metric tons CO2e savings
  • Activity type and description
  • Scope
  • Estimated lifetime of the initiative

Option 3: For companies that need help calculating the greenhouse gas impacts of their initiatives, you can still report to Project Gigaton by submitting following data points and allowing Walmart to calculate your greenhouse gas emissions reductions according to the approach described in the 2018 Project Gigaton Accounting Methodology.

To calculate the impact of certified palm oil initiatives, report the following:

  • Palm oil quantity
  • Certification type (RSPO NEXT or Rainforest Alliance only)
  • Source country (Malaysia, Indonesia and/or Papua New Guinea only)

To calculate the impact of deforestation-free beef initiatives in Brazil, report the following:

  • Fresh beef quantity
  • Brazilian state
  • Verification program used (AgroTools or Terras only)

To calculate the impact of certified timber, pulp and paper initiatives, report the following:

  • Certified quantity
  • Material type (timber or pulp/paper)
  • Certification program (FSC; SFI or PEFC in select countries*)
  • Source country
  • % material used in packaging vs. product

To calculate the impact of recycled content pulp and paper initiatives, report the following:

  • Recycled content quantity used
  • % material used in packaging vs. product

To calculate the impact of an eligible** industry forest restoration effort, report the following:

  • Number of hectares to be restored
  • Restoration project

To calculate the impact of an independent forest restoration effort, report the following:

  • Number of hectares to be restored
  • Forest type
  • Location
  • Forest age

In future reporting years, you will be able to report impacts from sustainably sourced soy to Project Gigaton.

*For the purposes of Project Gigaton, FSC-certified virgin content from all countries is recognized; SFI from the US and Canada only; PEFC from Anguilla, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, or the UK.

**A full list of eligible projects can be found in Appendix of the 2018 Project Gigaton Accounting Methodology.

For additional information about Project Gigaton, refer to the Frequently Asked Questions or Project Gigaton Accounting Methodology.

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