At a Glance


Retail and Apparel

Project Types

Data Analysis, Industrial Energy Efficiency





Savings icon

Annual kWh Savings:

328,000,000 kWh

Reductions icon

Annual CO2 Reductions:

330,000 metric tons


Zhiliang Xu identified ways for Walmart’s China-based suppliers to reduce their GHG emissions as part of the company’s new goal, “Project Gigaton”.


Multinational retail giant, Walmart, recently announced a bold initiative to cut a gigaton of emissions from its supply chain. To achieve this lofty goal, the company was in search of ways for improving the energy efficiency of its enormous China-based supply chain, but before doing so, the company needed to first determine its current GHG emissions levels. EDF Climate Corps fellow Zhiliang Xu was brought on board to conduct a life cycle analysis of products and promote practical solutions for reducing GHG emissions. 


Upon research and sight visits to eight factories located in different industries in Guangdong region, Xu performed input-output life cycle assessments to calculate the GHG emissions of upstream materials. He also identified a number of power-wasting items in the product processes, as well as an overall lack of maintenance knowledge around conserving energy use.

To overcome this, Xu created an energy efficiency handbook, in addition to a specific compressed air system efficiency handbook, complete with many energy-savings opportunities, that was given to all suppliers. The handbook also identified areas of energy waste and best practices for managing that waste in a checklist format to help suppliers take immediate action. Supplemental information is given to provide further guidance.  

Potential Impact

Hong identified that up to 544,085 tons of GHG emissions can be saved during the product use phase in medium-sized factories and the handbook has the potential to save over 40 million dollars and reduce 328,125 tons CO2 per year within the China-based supply chain.

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