Back to Main

Advocating for the customer

Winning with customers means being actively on their side—making their daily lives better. As we share in our Annual Report, customers should be able to shop on their own terms – in a great store or club, with a quick pickup stop on the way home from work, or with items reliably arriving at the front door. And they want to have some money left over to put toward their priorities: an experience together as a family, a special gift every once in a while, or savings for a rainy day. 

It’s no different with how we serve society. Our customers care about their neighbors, their communities and the planet. They want to buy products that are good for the environment and the people who made them. They want items that are safe and healthy for their families. And ultimately they want to use their dollars, pounds or yen in a way that aligns with their values and has an impact on the world. So we are not only advocating for customers when we offer low prices and convenience, but also when we help positively reshape the ways items are made, shipped and sold. 

When we get it right, customers are able to shop at ease, knowing we did the work for them. They know that the products on our shelves and website were produced at a low “true cost” for all – not just in terms of being the best value, but in terms of whether they enhance the environment and the lives of all the people who helped produce them.

As you’ll see in these pages, we have made significant progress toward the three big goals we laid out in 2005: to create zero waste, run on 100 percent renewable energy and sell products that sustain people and the environment. What’s even more exciting is that we’ve also expanded their scope, as the supply chain is proving to be the biggest tool we have. It’s been said that “supply chain is strategy,” and that’s true – it’s our opportunity to get things to customers in a timely, cost-effective and sustainable way. The individual choices we make along the supply chain greatly impact the future for all of us.

So what was once largely about our own operations has shifted into helping rewire whole systems: Running on renewable energy has turned into joining the global effort to combat climate change; reducing waste has evolved into seeking a circular economy in which materials can be continually recycled; and selling sustainable products has broadened into working with suppliers and others throughout the supply chain to reduce impacts at every stage. And beyond sustainability, we’ve undertaken journeys to enhance economic opportunity inside Walmart and beyond and to strengthen the communities in which we operate and source.

Today we view global responsibility in these three big areas – Opportunity, Sustainability and Community. All three cut to the heart of customer advocacy and leveraging our supply chain. 

We don’t pretend for a moment that we have this all figured out. The issues are complex, and the work is difficult. But our role is to get up every day, roll up our sleeves and lead. As we do, we’re thankful to be joined by so many great suppliers, NGOs, community groups and other stakeholders.

Ultimately, we believe that serving customers and society is the same thing. You can’t have one without the other because, in the long term, their interests converge. Putting the customer first means delivering for them in ways that protect and preserve the communities they live in and the world they’ll pass on to future generations.

When you put it all together, we’ll enable customers around the world to save money and time, so they can invest more of both in the things they love. And we’ll help make the world a better place one community at a time.