At a Glance


Retail and Apparel

Project Types

Supply Chain, Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy





Savings icon

Annual kWh Savings:

3,364,860,000 kWh

Reductions icon

Annual CO2 Reductions:

2,744,620 metric tons


Jingyao Gu provided Walmart with solutions for GHG emissions reductions in the consumer product use category of their Project Gigaton initiative.


As one of the largest retailers in the world and a leader in environmental sustainability practices, Walmart announced the creation of Project Gigaton in 2016. The goal of this initiative is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the company’s supply chain by one gigaton (1 billion metric tons) by 2030. In service of this, they enlisted EDF Climate Corps fellow Jingyao Gu to evaluate the potential of GHG emissions reductions for consumer product use that could be applied to the initiative. She was tasked with identifying and quantifying products that have major GHG reduction potentials, recommending ways to reach the reduction goals for each product category and studying the feasibility of those solutions.


After analyzing product information and sales volume of all product categories in Walmart Global Sourcing, Gu identified 10 categories with the greatest potential. In order to evaluate the energy efficiency potential of appliances in those categories, she conducted an extensive review on reports produced by U.S. DOE, U.S. EPA, ENERGY STAR program, and some national laboratories. She visited four manufacturing facilities and worked with Walmart Global Sourcing technicians to verify the feasibility of his recommended technology options and the challenges of implementation.

In addition, Gu proposed revisions to the Project Gigaton accounting methodology, which will help motivate Walmart’s suppliers and their own sourcing teams toward more sustainable practices.

Potential Impact

If implemented in the product categories of air conditioners, coffee makers, refrigeration products and TVs, the long-term potential of these recommendations could result in $2.1 billion in customer savings. Gu’s recommendations on the products in those categories will also help Walmart understand the challenges faced by manufacturers in making upgrades.

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