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Guiding suppliers to set ambitious carbon reduction targets

Walmart’s Project Gigaton is a new, ambitious project to reduce their value chain GHG emissions by one billion tons. This Science Based Target (SBT) sets emission reductions in line with climate science and puts pressure on suppliers – especially ‘tier 1’ suppliers – to take greater action to reduce their GHG emissions.

Project Gigaton runs in addition to Walmart’s long-established Sustainability Index. The Sustainability Index collects on a broad range of sustainability criteria for consumer product life cycles — from “raw materials, sourcing, manufacturing and transporting, to selling, customer use and end of life”[1]. Project Gigaton is purely focused on – measuring GHG emissions reductions achieved by suppliers in a given year and elevating supplier goals and progress to reduce their GHG emissions. GHG reductions made to improve Sustainability Index “hot spots” can then be reported to Project Gigaton.

Walmart have defined six pillars from which multiple GHG reductions goals can be set and achieved:

  • Energy (energy intensity, renewable energy, energy efficiency)
  • Agriculture (fertilizer optimization, animal agriculture, enhanced watershed quality, soil health improvements)
  • Waste (food and solid waste reduction, standardization of expiration dates)
  • Packaging (using recycled content, reusable packaging, decreasing the weight, increasing recyclability)
  • Deforestation (certified palm oil and paper, responsibly sourced beef)
  • Product use (more energy efficient products, customer engagement)

Of course, Walmart are not alone in pushing suppliers to focus on and reduce their GHG emissions. HP Enterprise are also “raising the bar by becoming the first company to establish a comprehensive supply chain management program that requires companies in their value chain to set science-based emissions reduction targets”.

When, what, and how – reporting to Project Gigaton

Reporting will be carried out on an annual basis using calendar year data. In 2017, reporting will be open from October 2nd through to November 3rd 2017. Suppliers can also submit data from 2015 and/or 2016.

Reporting will be conducted via surveys issued on the SAP Product Stewardship Network (PSN), the same platform used to issue the Walmart Sustainability Index survey.

Suppliers who already complete the Walmart Sustainability Index will find the Project Gigaton survey alongside the Sustainability Index survey(s). If your organization does not take part in the Sustainability Index and is not already registered with the PSN, further instructions to access the network will be shared with you before the reporting period begins.

Although there is a fee for submitting Sustainability Index surveys on the PSN system, there is no fee to submit Project Gigaton surveys.

How can Anthesis help?

To address the pressures suppliers face, whether you work with Walmart or not, Anthesis are bringing together strategists, technical analysts, policy experts and industry / issue specialists to develop science-based methodologies that will help you to develop targets with the evidence and strategy to achieve them.

Our approach is based on four questions:

  • What does the evidence tell us about the scale and significance of the challenge? From studies on global megatrends to NGO research, Life Cycle Assessments, government statistics, academic research and cross-industry studies and tools.
  • What does this mean for an individual organization? How significant is an issue for a business’s operations or supply chain, or the use phase of its products? How material is this issue to the success or failure of the business? What share of the issue identified is the company’s responsibility, and what actions can it take to mitigate it?
  • What targets are relevant? What is fair and meaningful, and what will motivate change and innovation? The right targets take into consideration factors such as feasibility, geographical context, timing, and use of current tools and frameworks to support the development and comparability of metrics and performance.
  • To which of the targets can my organization contribute the most? Rather than creating strenuous links to many different targets, which of them do I have the most tangible impact on?

If you would like to discuss how Anthesis can support your organization in responding to customer demands contact Phil Harrison (Phil.Harrison@anthesisgroup.com) or Matt Wood (Matt.Wood@anthesisgroup.com), or alternatively, us our fill out form below:

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Don’t miss our webinar, ‘Responding to the Sustainability Index and tips to improve your score’, taking place September 12thsign up here.

Disclaimer: We do not work for, or on behalf of Walmart and all recommendations are our own.
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