2017 report outlines the retailer’s milestones in creating shared value for people, business and society
Walmart today released its tenth annual Global Responsibility Report, which looks back at the company’s progress during fiscal year 2017 in advancing the key areas of opportunity, sustainability and local communities. The report also looks ahead at the retailer’s role in helping rewire whole social and environmental systems as it strives toward a new era of trust and transparency.
“At Walmart, we aim to use our strengths and collaborate with others to transform the systems we all rely on,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer and president of the Walmart Foundation. “We believe that the value-maximizing strategy is the one that creates shared value for customers, business and society.”
The three aspirational goals Walmart set in 2005 remain constant to this day while the company’s approach and vision of global responsibility continue to evolve. This past November, the retailer announced a new approach in advancing the key areas of opportunity, sustainability and community which consists of a 10-year vision to create shared value and underscores the importance of true integration into the company’s core business.
Notable milestones and progress from the 2017 Global Responsibility Report include:
Increasing Economic Opportunity in Retail Supply Chains
- Supporting Economic Mobility in Retail for Walmart Associates and Beyond
- Enhancing associate opportunity: Walmart is addressing barriers that can impede career advancement for associates. In FY2017, Walmart completed a $2.7 billion investment in U.S. associates that included increases in training, education and higher wages.
- Accelerating frontline retail job mobility beyond Walmart: In addition to investing in its own associates, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation in 2015 launched the Retail Opportunity Initiative, a five-year, $100 million sector-wide effort aimed at strengthening the transferability of skills of the U.S. retail workforce and developing ways to make it easier for front-line workers to advance their careers. Through the end of FY2017, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation invested more than $59 million and collaborated with leading nonprofits, employers, government agencies and educational institutions such as the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, The League of Innovation and the Aspen Institute.
- Investing in American Jobs
- Supporting local, diverse and small businesses: In 2013, Walmart pledged to purchase $250 billion more in products supporting American jobs through 2023. To raise awareness for this initiative, Walmart hosted the U.S. Manufacturing Summit and Open Call for new U.S. made products in June 2016. Entrepreneurs from 40 states participated in 800 meetings at the event.
- Walmart, the Walmart Foundation and the U.S. Conference of Mayors launched a $10 million U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund in 2014. The fund supports innovative research into manufacturing processes. The FY2017 funding cycle marks the completion of the $10 million commitment; however, the projects continue to advance.
Enhancing the Sustainability of Operations and Our Value Chain
- Reducing Emissions, Energy Intensity and Waste In Operations
- Setting emissions reduction goals: Walmart is the first retailer with an approved science-based target emissions-reduction plan. The company aims to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 18 percent by 2025. The retailer will also work with its suppliers to reduce CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent, emissions from upstream and downstream Scope 3 sources by one billion tons (a gigaton) between 2015 and 2030.
- Continued advancement toward 100 percent renewable energy goal: Walmart aspires to eliminate reliance on fossil fuel-based energy sources by meeting its needs with 100 percent renewable energy. By 2025, Walmart aims to power 50 percent of its operations with renewable energy. At the end of FY2017, approximately 26 percent of Walmart’s electricity needs globally were supplied by renewable sources, including more than 460 onsite and offsite projects in operation or under development globally.
- Progress toward zero waste goal: By the end of FY2017, Walmart diverted from landfills 82 percent of materials previously considered waste from Walmart U.S., and 77 percent* from Walmart International. As a large global grocer, Walmart is also committed to reducing food waste within its own operations. Since 2005, Walmart stores, clubs and distribution centers have donated more than 3.3 billion pounds of food to organizations that distribute to those in need in the U.S., including more than 600 million pounds in FY2017.
- Improving Sustainability in Global Value Chains
- Working with our suppliers: Since 2014, suppliers have reported a 96 percent reduction of high priority chemicals by weight in Walmart U.S. stores. In FY2017, Walmart reached a goal set in 2012, of buying 70 percent of the company’s U.S. goods from suppliers that participate in the Sustainability Index, in categories where the Index is available.
Strengthening Local Communities
- Relieving Hunger
- Efforts to donate 4 billion meals: Walmart and the Walmart Foundation surpassed the halfway point in their goal to provide 4 billion meals over five years, by providing support for 2.4 billion meals to date since 2014. In FY2017, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation donated more than $50 million toward hunger relief.
- Strengthening the capacity of hunger relief programs: Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are helping organizations who are on the front lines of charitable food provision to improve their infrastructure, so they can increase access to charitable meals. In the U.S., Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations teamed up with customers and participating suppliers to support Feeding America through the “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign, raising more than $17 million in funds in FY2017.
- Engaging associates to volunteer:
- Walmart associates around the world are dedicated to addressing hunger. In the U.S. alone, Walmart associates donated more than 110,000 hours toward hunger relief in FY2017.
- In FY2017, 73,000 full-and part-time associates volunteered more than 1.2 million hours generating more than $12 million in Walmart donations.
- Strengthening Disaster Response and Community Preparedness
- Increasing disaster relief and preparedness efforts: In FY2017, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation supported communities after 30 disasters. A total of $6.8 million in cash donations was given specifically for disaster preparedness and relief.
*Based on review of material handling and waste diversion processes in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Central America, Chile, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, U.K., and U.S., as reported by waste vendors, food banks and stores. In cases where real numbers were not available due to industry challenges they have been estimated based on industry acceptable standards.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, over 260 million customers and members visit our 11,695 stores under 59 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2017 revenue of $485.9 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.
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