Walmart announces 20 MMT of supplier emission reductions through Project Gigaton
Walmart’s suppliers have reported reducing more than 20mn metric tons (MMT) of greenhouse gas emissions in the global value chain, as part of the company’s Project Gigaton initiative.
Walmart launched Project Gigaton last April, seeking to work with suppliers to reduce emissions from the company’s value chain by a gigaton, or one billion metric tons, by 2030.
The emissions reduction progress was shared at Walmart’s annual Sustainability Milestone Summit, where expanded commitments on solar and wind power, as well as electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, were also discussed.
“In its first year, Project Gigaton has helped to inspire action that has led to the avoidance of millions of metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and has expanded into an international campaign that includes the participation of several hundred suppliers,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, senior vice president and chief sustainability officer for Walmart.
“The early success of Project Gigaton parallels ongoing progress in our operational efforts that seek to double our U.S. renewable energy use and expand our customer electric vehicle charging hubs to retail outlets across more than 30 states.”
With the recent expansion of Project Gigaton in China and the U.K., more than 400 suppliers with operations in more than 30 countries have joined the program. Suppliers can commit to reductions in any of six pillars that include energy, agriculture, waste, packaging, deforestation and product use.
Approximately 85% of the Project Gigaton emissions reductions reported by suppliers have focused their efforts on the energy and product use pillars, with projects devoted to areas such as renewable energy investments and the development of more efficient products.
“This annual milestone marks a pivot point for Walmart and 400 of its suppliers to share solutions and lessons learned. The next step is to deepen commitments that unlock the potential of this platform,” said Carter Roberts, president and CEO, World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
“We need collaborative initiatives like Project Gigaton and We Are Still In. With sufficient goals and results they can help define our country’s ability to build a sustainable future. And they also shape the world’s understanding of our commitment to solving climate change.”
“With Project Gigaton, Walmart is raising the bar for innovation and collaboration across its supply chain,” said Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund. “In Project Gigaton’s second year, we hope to see even more Walmart suppliers setting targets based in science, ensuring that business, people and nature thrive.”
A highlight from the summit was a commitment made by Project Gigaton participant, Procter & Gamble (P&G), to cut 50 MMT of emissions from its operations and value chain by 2030.
P&G will achieve this through inviting customers to join the Tide #QuickColdPledge, switching to quick and cold laundry cycles to use less water, 80% less energy and create 40% fewer emissions in every load, as well as committing to source 100 percent renewable electricity in its North American operations by 2020.
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.