Eliminating waste in your operations (factories, farms, warehouses and distribution centers) and throughout the value chain can have an immediate positive effect on your bottom line. The elimination of waste can reduce costs, increase the efficient use of resources and reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with operating your business. Is your business ready to reduce the waste in your operations?

Food, products and material waste is associated with significant amounts of GHG emissions. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the carbon footprint of food produced and not eaten globally is estimated at 3.3 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent. If food waste were a country, it would be the world's third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, behind the U.S. and China.

How to Join


To join the Waste pillar of Project Gigaton, your company should commit to reduce the emissions from waste in your own operations, supply chain or at the customer level. Examples of areas you could target for waste reduction include: general waste reduction in your operations, food waste reduction in your operations and value chain, or food waste reduction at the customer level.

Resources

For example, you could submit a goal to:

  • Divert 80 percent of solid waste in your operations in the U.S. and globally by 2030.
  • Achieve zero waste in your operations in the U.S. and globally by 2030.
  • Decrease food waste sent to landfill and incineration (per metric ton of food produced) by 30 percent by 2025 (compared to the 2017 baseline).
  • Work with suppliers to reduce food waste in the supply chain by 20 percent by 2025 (versus 2018).
  • Standardize expiration dates across 80 percent of brands to “Best If Used By” and “Use By” as prescribed by Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA).

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. The best goals are specific, measurable, and time bound. After submitting a goal using the button below, you’ll be asked to report on your progress annually so the impact can be recognized and attributed toward the Project Gigaton reduction target.


General Waste

Practical guidance on setting a general waste reduction goal

Reducing and diverting general waste is a clear way to reduce your costs and lower emissions associated with waste going to landfills and incineration. When considering how to develop a general waste diversion plan and set up a goal, you can follow this waste handling maturity model* and identify opportunities for improvement:


You can also follow the EPA non-hazardous materials and waste management hierarchy which recognizes that no single waste management approach is suitable for managing all materials and waste streams in all circumstances. The hierarchy ranks the various management strategies from the most to the least environmentally preferred. Emphasis is placed on reducing, reusing and recycling as key to sustainable materials management.


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 General Waste in your own operations, you’ll be asked to submit the impact of improvements you’ve achieved in a given reporting year. There are three options for submitting General Waste data to Project Gigaton reporting:

Option 1: If your company already reports to the CDP Climate Change Questionnaire each year, this information can be leveraged to report emissions reductions to Project Gigaton. To report to Project Gigaton using your CDP disclosure, you must grant permission for Walmart to use your CDP disclosure during the sign up or reporting process and the following CC3.3b fields must be completed in your CDP disclosure:

  • Activity type
  • Description of activity
  • Estimated annual metric tons CO2e savings
  • Scope

Please use the 2017 CDP Climate Change Reporting Guidance to properly respond to question CC3.3b.

Option 2: If your company already uses the EPA WARM Tool to calculate emissions avoidance associated with your waste management programs, you will be asked to submit the following data points for Project Gigaton reporting:

  • Estimated annual metric tons CO2e savings, as calculated using the EPA WARM Tool

Option 3: For companies that do not report their emissions reductions to the CDP Climate Change Questionnaire each year, or who have implemented projects but are unable to calculate the greenhouse gas impacts, you can still report to Project Gigaton by submitting the following data points and Walmart will calculate the emissions reductions:

  • Short tons of waste diverted (recycled, composted, anaerobically digested) by material type (mixed paper, HDPE, etc.)

There is no need to report every action – similar initiatives can be grouped together and recorded on a programmatic level (e.g. a mixed paper recycling program across your global business can be reported as one line item).

Once data has been submitted, the greenhouse gas equivalency will be calculated using the approach outlined in Walmart’s Project Gigaton Accounting Policy.

Food Waste

Practical guidance on setting a food waste reduction goal

Food waste in your operations
Due to differences of waste in the food value chain, we have dedicated a separate sub-section to food waste reduction in your own operations (farms and factories). The overall approach will be similar to the general waste goal and relies on the use of the Food Loss and Waste Protocol framework. When developing a food waste diversion plan and goal, consider the following food waste handling maturity model* to identify opportunities for improvement.

The EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy (pictured below) prioritizes actions organizations can take to prevent and divert wasted food. Each tier of the Food Recovery Hierarchy focuses on different management strategies for wasted food. The top levels of the hierarchy are the best ways to prevent and divert wasted food because they create the most benefits for the environment, society and the economy.

Food waste in your value chain
To support the U.N. goal to reduce food losses along production and supply chains by 2030, we encourage you to work with your direct supply chain to reduce post-harvest losses at the farm level. Prioritize geographic regions that are important for you.

Food waste at the customer level
To support the U.N. goal to reduce the per capita global food waste at the consumer level in half by 2030, we encourage you to:

Standardize expiration date labels across your brands following the CGF Date Labeling Call for Action which encourages food producers to take three important steps:

Utilize only one label at a time per product.
Utilize only two types of written food date labels on packaging: one expiration date for perishable items (e.g. “Use by”) or one food quality indicator for non-perishable items (e.g., “Best if used by”). The exact wording will be tailored to regional context and what is most understandable for the consumer.
Educate consumers on how to understand date labels.
Introduce food processing and packaging innovations that extend food shelf life.
Educate customers about measures to prevent food waste at the household level.

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 Food Waste in your own operations, value chain, and at the customer-level, you’ll be asked to submit the impact of improvements you’ve achieved in a given reporting year. There are two options for submitting data to Project Gigaton reporting:

Option 1: If your company already reports to the CDP Climate Change Questionnaire each year, this information can be leveraged to report emissions reductions to Project Gigaton. To report to Project Gigaton using your CDP disclosure, you must grant permission for Walmart to use your CDP disclosure during the sign up or reporting process and the following CC3.3b fields must be completed in your CDP disclosure:

  • Activity type
  • Description of activity
  • Estimated annual metric tons CO2e savings
  • Scope

Please use the 2017 CDP Climate Change Reporting Guidance to properly respond to question CC3.3b.

Option 2 - Food waste in your operations: For companies that do not report their emissions reductions to the CDP Climate Change Questionnaire each year, or who have implemented food waste reduction projects in their operations but are unable to calculate the greenhouse gas impacts, you can still report to Project Gigaton by submitting the following data points and Walmart will calculate the emissions reductions:

  • Short tons of food waste diverted (donated for human consumption, animal feed, etc.) by food material type (meat or non-meat, broken out by food type if available)

We encourage you to use the Food Loss and Waste (FLW) Accounting and Reporting Standard to measure food waste in your operations. You can download the Standard Reporting Template and other resources from the FLW Protocol website.

There is no need to report every action – similar initiatives can be grouped together and recorded on a programmatic level (e.g. a non-meat donation program across your global business can be reported as one line item).

Once data has been submitted, the greenhouse gas equivalency will be calculated using the approach outlined in Walmart’s Project Gigaton Accounting Policy.

Future Option - Food waste in your supply chain: Starting in 2018, you will be able to report food reduction data from your supply chain to Project Gigaton using the FLW Standard format. Methodologies to calculate the greenhouse gas equivalencies are currently in the development and will be shared before the 2018 reporting period.

Future Option - Food waste at the customer level: Starting in 2018, you will be able to report weight of products sold with standardized labeling (by category) and shelf-life extension of your products. Methodologies to calculate the greenhouse gas equivalencies are currently in the development and will be shared before the 2018 reporting period.

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

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