When we think about greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the value chain, the focus is often manufacturing and how we can manufacture products in a more sustainable way. But what about looking farther upstream and considering how raw material choices during product design will impact the overall carbon footprint of the product? Or, looking farther downstream at the impact that occurs once a product leaves the shelf and goes home with our customer?


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All products produce greenhouse gas emissions during their manufacturing, and electricity-using products also generate emissions when used by customers at home. Designers, manufacturers and brands have a unique opportunity to help deliver more efficient and innovative products to shelf by making smart, sustainable material choices in the design of their products. In addition, for energy-using products, smart, sustainable engineering choices can also help customers lower the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the use of the product after bringing it home.

How to Join


To join the Product Use and Design pillar of Project Gigaton, your company could commit to making smart raw material and/or engineering choices during product design to improve the sustainability of your product(s). Companies that sell products like refrigerators and air conditioners can also join the Product Use and Design pillar by committing to use low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants. By transitioning to low-GWP refrigerants and/or making the products our customers know and love more energy efficient, we can help our customers lower greenhouse gas emissions.

For example, you could submit a goal to:
Increase the use of recycled content materials in your product(s) by 20 percent by 2025.
Commit to source paper or other pulp-based products using fiber that is certified to standards that limit deforestation by 2020.
Increase your product(s) energy efficiency by 20 percent by the year 2021.
Help customers avoid 1 billion kWh of energy use between now and 2025.
Decrease GHGs emitted through product use by 25 percent by 2030.
Increase the energy efficiency of half of products sold by 2020.
Reduce refrigerant-related emissions from products by 50 percent by 2025.
Eliminate use of high-GWP refrigerants in our products by 2030.

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The above goals are illustrative examples only and by no means the only goal styles that could be submitted as part of Project Gigaton – you’ll need to determine the scope, timeline and type of goal(s) 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 a goal related to material choices during product design

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.

When developing a commitment to make smart, sustainable material choices during product design, please consider using the sustainable packaging priority areas outlined in the Walmart Sustainable Packaging Position Statement and Playbook, as the same principles to (1) optimize design, (2) source sustainably, and (3) support recycling can be applied to product design as well as packaging. In addition to identifying common opportunities for improvement, the Walmart Sustainable Packaging Position Statement and Playbook provides information about best practices, additional guidance and resources for each of these areas. Establishing a product design commitment will be unique for each company.

Practical guidance on setting an energy efficient product 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.

When developing a commitment to improve the in-use energy efficiency of your product, consider reviewing guidance from voluntary certification and endorsement label programs like ENERGY STAR in the United States or the China Quality Certification Center in China; which identify energy efficiency performance thresholds/specifications for top-performing consumer products in categories like lighting, appliances, electronics, office equipment and more.

Practical guidance on setting a low-GWP refrigerant product 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.

When developing a commitment to use or transition to low-GWP refrigerants in your products, it would be helpful to review national or local regulatory guidelines on acceptable refrigerant alternatives, such as the Significant New Alternatives Program (SNAP) in the United States, Climate-Friendly Alternatives to HFCs and HCFCs in the European Union, and First Catalogue of Recommended Substitutes for HCFCs in China.

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.

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

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