Five suppliers, Amy’s Kitchen, Great Lakes Cheese, Levi Strauss & Co., The J.M. Smucker Co. and Valvoline Inc, have collaborated to execute an aggregated purchase of renewable energy from Ørsted’s Sunflower Wind Farm located in Marion County, Kansas. Over the 12-year term of the agreement, the purchase is expected to generate approximately 250,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) annually of new renewable power, or the equivalent of avoiding the carbon emissions from more than 458,000 gasoline-powered passenger cars driven for one year, according to the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.
The cohort’s success will directly support Walmart’s Project Gigaton™ goal, which aims to reduce or avoid one gigaton (or 1 billion metric tons) of greenhouse gas emissions from the global value chain by 2030. The Gigaton PPA program was developed jointly by Walmart and Schneider Electric in 2020 under Project Gigaton™ to increase renewable energy market access for companies that have historically been limited in their procurement opportunities. To date, the program has helped more than 250 Walmart suppliers access useful education on renewable energy procurement.
“It is very exciting to see these companies come together with their collective purchasing power to bring clean energy to market and take actionable steps toward reducing their carbon emissions,” said Jane Ewing, senior vice president of sustainability at Walmart. “We developed Project Gigaton™ to help accelerate our suppliers’ zero-emissions efforts and the Gigaton PPA program is a key example of how we are making progress by harnessing the collective to make renewable energy more accessible to more companies. We are proud of our collaboration with Ørsted, Schneider Electric and this initial cohort of valued suppliers.”
A long-time leader on sustainability, Walmart has worked with suppliers, NGOs and climate action leaders to inspire positive change across global value chains since 2005. In its own operations, Walmart has set a goal to be powered 50% by renewable energy by 2025 and 100% by 2035. More than 4,500 suppliers globally are engaged in Project Gigaton™ and as of 2021, those suppliers report having reduced or avoided a cumulative 574 million metric tons of carbon emissions since 2017 by adopting various sustainability strategies.
The Sunflower Wind Farm is being developed by Ørsted, a renewable energy company that takes tangible action to create a world that runs entirely on green energy. The company aspires to have its own carbon neutral supply chain by 2040 and recently extended its 100% renewable electricity target to all suppliers.
“Ørsted welcomes the opportunity to work with Walmart suppliers participating in Project Gigaton and Schneider Electric on this unique initiative, which sets the standard for helping companies achieve a sustainable supply chain,” said Ben Pratt, vice president and head of markets and revenue at Ørsted. “This effort aligns with Ørsted’s own net-zero by 2040 supply chain initiative – we understand firsthand that in the realm of decarbonization there are no competitors, only partners. Orsted looks forward to seeing this type of collaborative agreement trend across the industry.”
Schneider Electric, the world’s leading consultant to corporations on renewable energy procurement and carbon management, is the Gigaton PPA program manager and supported Walmart in its development. Schneider also served as the advisor to program participants throughout the PPA procurement and negotiation process. The company has its own ambitious commitment to reduce the emissions of its top 1,000 suppliers 50% by 2025.
“It has been our pleasure to work with Walmart, its suppliers, and Ørsted on this groundbreaking program,” said Steve Wilhite, president, Schneider Electric’s Sustainability Business. “Decarbonization and the transition of our energy system to more sustainable and resilient forms of power generation is a critical challenge for companies today. We applaud these companies for coming together to find common ground and develop solutions that will have industry-leading impact. We’re honored to have played a role in the conceptualization and realization of this program.”
To learn more about the Gigaton PPA program, and the participation criteria, visit gigatonppa.com.