Safer, Healthier Food & Other Products

SASB: CG-MR-410a.2, CG-AA-250a.1, CG-EC-220a.2, CG-AA 250a.2, FB-FR-250a.1, FB-FR-260a.2
GRI: 2-6, 3-3, 416-1, 417-1a
UN SDGs: 2, 12

S G | Published: May 19, 2023

Safer, Healthier Food and Other Products: Lead Image

Our Aspiration

We aim to improve the lives of millions of people around the world by providing access to safer, healthier, and more affordable food and products; educating and engaging people on food safety, nutrition, and product safety; and facilitating industry innovation to promote access to safer, healthier products and services.

Key Goals & Metrics

Food Safety
Number of independent food safety audits conducted at Walmart stores and clubs globally > 190,000 > 70,0001 > 71,000
Number of associates trained in at least one food safety course globally > 980,0002 >1.19M
Access to Affordable, Nutritious Food
Number of Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs providing grocery pickup ~ 4,350 ~ 5,200 ~ 8,100
Food donations in the U.S.3 > 627 million lbs. > 696 million lbs. > 665 million lbs.
Food donations globally CY2020
> 745 million lbs.
> 783 million lbs.
> 760 million lbs.
Sustainable Chemistry4
Note: Metrics reported for previous calendar year CY2019 CY2020 CY2021
Number of formulated consumable products in scope sold by Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs in the U.S. > 145,000 > 140,000 > 130,000
By 2022, we aim to reduce our footprint of priority chemicals in formulated consumables by 10% compared to our 2017 baseline5 Percent change versus baseline year (2017) 5% decrease 17% decrease 20% decrease
Total weight of priority chemicals206.2 million lbs.6 179.4 million lbs.7 171.8 million lbs.8
Priority chemical weight as a percent of total formulated consumables weight 1.85% 1.36% 1.39%

Relevance to Our Business & Society

Sam Walton founded Walmart in 1962 to meet the needs of communities for access to consumer goods.

Nearly 60 years later, Walmart’s ability to provide safer, more affordable food and other products—as well as essential health services—to customers is core to our business success and to our mission to help people save money and live better.

Our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders expect us to create value for our business and for society by upholding high standards of health and safety; educating and engaging consumers and the public on food safety, nutrition, and product safety; and encouraging innovation in products and services to promote safer and healthier living.

Walmart’s Approach

Providing safer, healthier, and more affordable food and other products, alongside essential services, is central to our mission to help people save money and live better. Our efforts include continuously strengthening policies, standards and practices around the safety and quality of our assortment, while engaging our customers and working with others on industry-wide efforts in consumer education, food and product safety, and access to the food, products, and services people want and need.

  • Food Safety: Walmart is committed to providing safer, higher-quality food for our customers. In addition to promoting a positive food safety culture within our organization, we engage suppliers, coalitions, research institutions and others in our industry to foster a safer food system.
  • Access to Affordable, Nutritious Food: Through our omni-channel food, offerings, customer engagement, food donations, and other philanthropic investments, we aim to make it easier for people to live healthier lives.
  • Product Safety: Walmart is committed to protecting customers and members through product safety and consumer protection. 
  • Sustainable Chemistry: We work with our suppliers and beyond to promote sustainable chemistry by reducing and eliminating the production and use of priority chemicals.

Key Strategies & Progress

Food Safety | Affordable, Nutritious Food | Product Safety | Sustainable Chemistry

Food Safety

Walmart is committed to providing safer, higher-quality food for our customers. In addition to promoting a positive food safety culture within our organization, we engage suppliers, coalitions, research institutions, and others in our industry to foster a safer food system.

Global Food Safety Program Foundations

Governance: Walmart maintains a Global Food Safety Program to assist Walmart associates and suppliers in meeting our science-based food safety expectations. Global Food Safety Compliance, part of our Ethics & Compliance organization, is a team of more than 100 food safety practitioners and scientists that oversees food safety for our manufacturing operations, retail stores, transportation, warehouses, and e-commerce operations, as well as the supplier food safety program. Among other responsibilities, this team assesses food safety risks, implements and trains associates on the required controls, and monitors the effectiveness of the program.

Policies & Standards: Walmart’s global food safety management system is designed to be science-based and to meet regulatory standards where we operate. Our Global Food Safety team develops policies, standards, procedures, and controls designed to prevent failure and to remediate practices that do not meet our standards. Food safety expectations are set forth in our Code of Conduct and Global Food Safety Policy. Both require associates to follow role-specific requirements relevant to food safety. Our Standards for Suppliers requires suppliers to take steps to help ensure the food they provide us is safe and meets all quality and technical requirements; we also expect suppliers to initiate voluntary and mandatory product recalls where appropriate.

Food Safety Culture: We promote a strong culture of food safety, where safety is prioritized through every stage in the supply chain and our operations. Responsibility for food safety lies with every Walmart associate and relevant third parties, including our suppliers. Associates in relevant roles (e.g., associates in Deli, Bakery, or Meat) are trained on food safety practices; in FY2023, over 1.19 million associates were trained on at least one food safety course. To promote broader awareness and positive action, the World Health Organization’s Food Safety Day in 2022 was recognized at our Home Office and in markets around the world through awareness campaigns including messages from senior executives, posters, contests, recognition, and expert webinars.

Food Safety in Walmart's Operations

Walmart facilities across the globe—including stores, clubs, distribution centers, and fresh food manufacturing—have implemented and maintain a Global Food Safety program based on Good Hygiene Practices and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). We measure effectiveness of the program through regular monitoring activities such as audits conducted by Walmart and third parties, as well as through machine learning.

Identifying Risk Through Machine Learning: We use machine learning technology that integrates compliance data (such as audits and regulatory visits) and operations data (such as facilities maintenance and logistics) to identify early risk indicators of pressure or strain on our stores or clubs. This information helps us prioritize the deployment of resources towards areas with a higher likelihood of food safety failure. Our use of machine learning in the U.S. was recognized by the Food Marketing Institute through the 2022 Food Safety Innovation Award.

Store and Club Audits: Independent third parties conduct risk-based audits to verify that our stores and clubs are operating safely and in compliance with our standards and processes, and with applicable laws and regulations. In recent years, we enhanced our store audit approach by consolidating our pest and food safety audits, streamlining allergen management, and heightening the importance of sanitation, hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls. In FY2023, more than 71,000 such audits were conducted.

Walmart-Owned Manufacturing Facility Certification: Walmart remains committed to certifying our own manufacturing facilities.

Supplier Food Safety

As a retailer, the vast majority of the food we sell is provided by suppliers. While we have continued to leverage the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification to monitor supplier food safety we have enhanced our supplier food safety program to increase assurance that suppliers are upholding high standards in the food we sell.

In addition to GFSI requirements for private branded products or where Walmart is the importer of record, our Global Food Safety Team has developed risk-based standards for suppliers that are being implemented in our retail markets around the world. These standards include:

  1. Supplier execution of food safety hazard analysis and subsequent preventive controls
  2. Risk-based supplier site reviews by Walmart's food safety team and designated third parties, along with verification of the implementation of any necessary corrective action plans
  3. Food fraud vulnerability risk assessments, compliance monitoring, including testing, and mitigation measures such as supplier investigations, oversight of remediation to address nonconformances, and/or sanctions

We also continue to use blockchain technology to increase the transparency of our fresh leafy green supply chains. For Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S., all of our fresh leafy green suppliers are on the blockchain platform. This helps us build a smarter, safer, more sustainable food system, enables faster outbreak investigations, and has the potential to reduce the scope of a recall and its impact on food waste.

Advancing Food Safety Across the Industry

Our Global Food Safety teams collaborate across the industry to strengthen the food safety industry at large. For example:

  • A Walmart representative sits on the GFSI Steering Committee, which helps deliver the GFSI mission of driving collaboration between retailers and manufacturers and ensure an open and transparent relationship with key stakeholders. Walmart also participates in GFSI's Race to the Top initiative, which aims to improve trust, transparency, and confidence in GFSI certifications. 
  • In 2022, Walmart partnered with other retailers, food service companies, suppliers, and regulators through the Leafy Green Safety Coalition and the Center for Produce Safety to advance the safety of fresh produce by working on the requirements for agricultural water testing and advancing the state of traceability.
  • We support the Partnership for Food Safety Education and the Stop Foodborne Illness Alliance, which develop educational content on foodborne illness and raise awareness of the impact of this issue on consumers.
  • As a founding member of the Institute of Food Technologists’ Global Food Traceability Center, we continued to push for greater traceability and transparency across the food industry by harmonizing traceability best practices and providing education and training for the industry on improving their traceability capabilities.
  • Walmart's Food Safety Collaboration Center (WFSCC) supports innovation, education, and policy support for the China food safety system. For more information on our food safety-related initiatives and work in China, please visit  walmartfoodsafetychina.com.
Safer, Healthier Food and Other Products: Affordable, Nutritious Food

Affordable, Nutritious Food

Providing access to affordable, nutritious food is central to Walmart’s core business as well as its philanthropic efforts around the world. For example, in FY2023, over 58% of our Walmart U.S. net sales were from grocery items and over 62% of our Sam’s Club net sales were from groceries and consumables. Our efforts to enhance access to more affordable, nutritious food include improving food access, providing healthier food options, educating customers on healthier food options, and strengthening the field.

Improving Access to Healthier Food Options

Omni-channel Retail: Our omni-channel business model provides convenient access to food and other products for our customers around the globe. Our stores and clubs are within 10 miles of approximately 90% of the U.S. population, and our eCommerce capabilities allow us to reach many more. As of March 2023, we had over 8,100 pickup locations and approximately 7,000 delivery locations globally.

Expanding Access: Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have worked to improve access to online grocery items for low-income customers. We worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and state agencies to allow customers to use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for online grocery shopping. Currently, SNAP benefits can be used at all Walmart stores as well as on Walmart.com in 49 states. Additionally, Walmart participates in the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition’s WIC online pilot program, which is designed to make it easier and more convenient for customers to order and pay for WIC-eligible items online using their electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. We expect the pilot to inform a pathway for national expansion to create greater WIC program efficiencies and improved access for customers.

Food Donations: Walmart is a significant contributor to community initiatives that address food insecurity through donations of unsold food as well as a philanthropic supporter of organizations to reach the underserved. Our U.S. food donation program started in 2006 through the efforts of a single Sam's Club. Since then, we have provided more than 7.55 billion pounds of food from our network of stores, clubs and distribution centers to Feeding America food banks. In FY2023, stores, clubs and distribution centers in the U.S. donated more than 665 million pounds of food to Feeding America, 57% of which were fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meats. These donations help to improve food security for those in need and strengthen the charitable meal system—the network of food banks, food pantries and meal programs across the U.S. In 2022, Walmart donated more than 760 million pounds of food globally.

Supporting Food Access Infrastructure: In addition, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping to build the digital and physical infrastructure to support access to nutrition. For digital infrastructure, in 2022, the Walmart Foundation awarded over $14 million in grants to support Feeding America’s efforts to increase access to innovative digital platforms that promote transparency in the food donation, rescue, and pickup process. This builds upon earlier support to Feeding America for the development of MealConnect, which facilitates restaurants and businesses donating their surplus food to local food banks. The Foundation has also supported the launch and expansion of OrderAhead, Feeding America’s click-and-collect food app. In addition, Foundation funding allows Feeding America's food banks to invest in the physical infrastructure of storage, refrigerated vans, technology, food safety equipment and more, with the goal of increasing access to fresh and perishable food in underserved communities.

Strengthening Safety Nets: The Walmart Foundation has also supported the digitalization of safety net programs through nonprofit organizations like Benefits Data Trust, which works to connect people with essential services like SNAP and WIC. The Walmart Foundation is also a founding investor in Code for America’s Integrated Benefits initiative, which works to transform the nutrition safety net nationwide by addressing barriers to enrollment, usage, and retention in social safety net programs, including SNAP and WIC.

Community-based Innovation: To support community-driven food access solutions at scale, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation also focus on increasing access to public and private capital. For example, in FY2021 the Walmart Foundation invested $5 million in the American Heart Association’s Bernard J. Tyson’s Impact Fund to increase access to affordable and healthier food in communities of color. According to the American Heart Association, the entrepreneurs and organizations who received investments from the Fund have reached over 460,000 individuals, created 71 healthy food access points, and grown over 186,000 pounds of fresh food within low-income and food-insecure communities. The organizations also have received over $10 million in follow-on funding.

Providing Healthier Food Options

Great for You: Over ten years ago, we introduced our Walmart U.S. Great for You icon for private-label products to make it easier for customers to build healthier diets. The icon serves as a guide to help people make incremental changes to their diet by encouraging more nutritious food choices. Items with this label meet rigorous nutrition criteria informed by the latest nutrition science and authoritative guidance from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and National Academies of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine). Our Great for You standard has been evaluated by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and in FY2022 scored in the top tier of nutritional standards for highest consistency with the DGAs. In 2022 we updated the Great for You nutrition criteria to match the 2020-2025 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans. As of April 2023, approximately 33% of items in fresh produce and food items across the Great Value, Marketside, Freshness Guaranteed, Prima Della, Clear American, and Parent’s Choice private brands satisfy the updated Great for You criteria.9 For more information, please visit the Great for You section of our website.

Expanded Assortment: We try to make shopping easier for customers looking for affordable, healthier options, including private brand products, affordable produce, organic options, and alternative proteins.

In FY2022 we launched our Built for Better program which helps customers identify products that are made with the well-being of people and the planet in mind. The Built for Better-Built for You icon includes foods with nutritional benefits like our Great for You items, plus household and beauty items made without materials or ingredients customers may not want. For more information, visit the Built for Better section of our website.

Consistent with our mission to help people save money and live better, we focus on providing selection across a variety of dietary choices. For instance, for those seeking meat and dairy alternatives, we offer a variety of plant-based product choices; customers can also view the plant-based section on Walmart.com for breakfast foods, snacks, and other items.

Safer, Healthier Food and Other Products: Built for Better

Educating Customers on Healthier Food Options

Through our food offering, customer engagement, and business and philanthropic investments in nutrition education, we aim to make it easier to select healthier food options.

Nutrition Education in the Community: Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provide philanthropic support to encourage healthier eating by funding programs that teach children and families that fruits and vegetables taste good and are good for you. Through the Healthier Food for All strategy, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation support philanthropic programs that help build people’s confidence in selecting, preparing, and serving healthier meals.

Culturally-Relevant Programming: Walmart and the Walmart Foundation invest in culturally relevant nutrition education programming; for example, in May 2022, the Foundation made a nearly $1.5 million grant to Sesame Workshop for their new bilingual resources to help families of all economic backgrounds foster healthy eating practices and increase nutritional literacy. In the same year, FoodCorps received a $3.3 million grant to provide more than 240,000 children with hands-on food education and increased exposure to more nourishing foods in schools and at home.

Strengthening the Field of Practitioners

Advancing Knowledge and Best Practice: Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to sharing learnings from research we have funded to advance equitable access to healthy food and nutrition. In 2022, for example, the Walmart Foundation supported the Aspen Institute Food and Society Program's Food is Medicine Research Action Plan, produced in partnership with the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School. The Action Plan makes recommendations on how to expand research strengthening nutrition interventions in health care and offers concrete guidance on how to advance equity throughout the Food is Medicine research continuum.

Convening Practitioners: Recent work builds on years of investment in affordable, nutritious food; for instance, in 2020, the Walmart Foundation launched the Healthy Food Community of Practice as a space for connection, learning, resource sharing and action for more than 35 organizations focused on improving healthier food access and consumption, particularly for people who face systemic barriers. The Community is facilitated by Share Our Strength through its subsidiary Community Wealth Partners and funded by the Walmart Foundation through a commitment that will run through at least 2024.

More on programs and organizations supported through our Healthier Food for All strategy can be found in the Serving Communities brief and also at Walmart.org.

Improving Access to Health and Wellness Services

Walmart has a robust health and wellness offering including pharmacies, optical services, and in-store health kiosks in thousands of locations and an expanding network of Walmart Health centers. Walmart is active in helping to ensure equitable access to quality health care by operating in Health Resources and Medical Association medically underserved areas, operating specialty pharmacies in the community, and advocating for public policies to reduce access gaps. Read more: Serving Communities.

Additionally, Walmart’s Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) business seeks to promote health equity, address gaps in care, and promote positive health behavior by providing equitable access to healthier food, tools, and nutritional support that impact cardiometabolic, food and nutrition security, and maternal health. For instance, Walmart and CareSource partner on a maternal and child health program to support positive lifestyle behavior change and improve health outcomes in Georgia. Under the program, expecting mothers or mothers who are less than 12-months post-partum and enrolled in CareSource’s Georgia Medicaid managed care plan will have access to Walmart in-store Community Health Resource Specialists, to assist them in navigating their health care journey, receive monthly funds to spend on food, telenutrition services, and also receive a Walmart+ membership (which facilitates access to healthier lifestyle products through free delivery from stores) at no cost. The partnership also includes an Ohio program focused improving cardiometabolic health outcomes thereby supporting healthy behavior change.

Product Safety

Walmart is committed to providing our customers and members with access to safer, compliant, and more affordable merchandise, while pursuing initiatives to promote safer formulation and use of products across the industry.

Selling Safe Products

Product Safety Policies & Standards: We set high expectations for product safety in our Code of Conduct and our Global Product Safety Policy, which was updated in 2022, as well as in our Standards for Suppliers. Walmart associates' in-store operations, distribution and fulfillment centers, and merchandising help Walmart source safer products and respond to safety issues. We require associates to follow particular role-specific practices relevant to product safety. We also require suppliers to take steps to ensure the products they provide to us are safe and meet all quality and technical requirements, and to initiate voluntary and mandatory product recalls where appropriate (see below).

Holding our Suppliers to High Product Safety Standards: Walmart maintains a risk-based Global Product Safety Compliance Program to assist Walmart associates and suppliers in complying with local product safety laws, requirements and company policies. Walmart’s Product Safety Compliance team includes experienced product safety professionals who oversee our product safety program. The Product Safety Compliance program includes training requirements tailored for merchandising teams.

In the U.S. we expect our general merchandise suppliers to send their items to third-party global testing laboratories so the items can be independently tested for compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and standards. The testing protocols utilized by third-party testing laboratories are developed in concert with and maintained by Walmart's U.S. Product Safety Compliance team. In addition to regulatory safety standards, Walmart has adopted certain industry consensus safety standards and utilizes a formal risk-based process to assess products for compliance with those standards. This includes adopting select requirements that extend beyond regulatory requirements, for instance, voluntary safety standards to prevent injuries from furniture top over.

When an item is deemed non-compliant, we instruct the supplier to correct the issue, remove the item from sale, and prohibit purchase in stores and online, when necessary. We voluntarily provide the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) —the principal federal regulatory agency overseeing the safety of consumer products— with product incident data on a regular basis so that it can take additional actions to keep consumers safe.

Walmart’s Product Safety Compliance program includes a rigid product recall process to support efficient and effective product withdrawals. This process includes customer awareness communications and perpetual collection of recalled products, in an effort to ensure potentially unsafe products are removed from consumer use.

Educating the Public About Proper Use of Products: Recent U.S. government agencies and industry trade association campaigns we have partnered with to promote consumer safety in key product categories include:

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Where’s Baby?” campaign to prevent hot car heatstroke deaths
  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s “Pool Safely” campaign to prevent child drownings
  • A campaign to boost the safe use of holiday lighting products via online and in-store communications 
  • The Juvenile Product Manufacturer Association baby safety month focused on car seat installation

Consumer Protection & Responsible Marketing

Walmart is committed to complying with all applicable consumer protection laws and regulations where we do business. Providing clear and accurate information helps our customers decide where to shop and what to buy. In addition to our Code of Conduct, we have a Global Consumer Protection Policy that requires associates involved in developing, sourcing, marketing and selling products to provide clear and accurate information to our customers (e.g. through product labeling or display signage) so they can make the most informed buying decisions. It also requires associates responsible for marketing to follow requirements for making product claims, to provide clear and transparent disclosures, and to partner with associates in merchandising to provide adequate stock levels for advertised items.

Additionally, Walmart is committed to marketing our products and services responsibly. We use a variety of approaches in responsible marketing, including:

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: We promote culturally appropriate Walmart marketing. Walmart U.S. has established a DEI Marketing Board, which solicits feedback from a diverse group of associates across the company before marketing is launched. The Board comprises salaried associates from across the company who volunteer their time. We provide our copy writers with alternative text training aligned with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and provide advertisers on Walmart Connect with a style guide to help ensure inclusion and representation.

Brand Safety: Our media brand safety policies ensure we balance our responsibility to our customers and our brand values with media performance outcomes. Our policy covers multiple aspects of our paid media ecosystem, including inventory quality, exclusion and inclusion lists, and publisher interventions. These efforts help ensure that Walmart reaches the desired audiences in the right channels and websites that are consistent with our brand.

Privacy and Digital Citizenship: Promoting fairness and protecting privacy through data policies that are consistent with our privacy notice and approach to digital citizenship, including through our Digital Trust Commitments, through which we aspire to design globally and deploy locally, design for customer usability and choice, and decrease bias.


At Walmart, we see and feel the impact of the opioid crisis in the communities we serve. Our mission is to help people “live better,” and this means helping to fight the opioid crisis facing our country. As part of our commitment, in early 2017, we established the Walmart Opioid Stewardship Initiative to identify concrete, high-impact actions to help fight the opioid epidemic. The Initiative focuses on supporting solutions in three core areas:

  • Stewardship: Adopting policies and practices to help safeguard our patients
  • Education: Supporting education programs for our patients, pharmacists, associates and communities
  • Advocacy: Supporting legislation and public policy solutions aimed at reducing opioid misuse and dependence

We are proud of our pharmacists who help patients understand the risks of opioid prescriptions. In addition, our pharmacists have refused to fill hundreds of thousands of opioid prescriptions they thought could be problematic. Walmart has also blocked thousands of questionable doctors from having their opioid prescriptions filled by any of our pharmacists, as part of our good-faith efforts to help address the opioid crisis and to satisfy the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). In 2022, Walmart obtained settlement agreements with all 50 states, including four states that previously settled with the company, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and three other U.S. territories, that are intended to resolve substantially all opioids-related lawsuits brought by state and local governments against Walmart. The nationwide settlement will take effect if a sufficient number of cities and counties also join. Walmart believes these settlements are in the best interest of all parties and will provide significant aid to communities across the country in the fight against the opioid crisis, with aid reaching state and local governments faster than any other nationwide opioid settlement to date, subject to satisfying all settlement requirements. Walmart strongly disputes the allegations in these matters, and these settlements do not include any admission of liability. Walmart will continue to vigorously defend the company against any lawsuit not resolved through these settlements.

Walmart is helping fight the opioid crisis and is proud of its pharmacists, who help patients understand the risks about opioid prescriptions. The company has adopted many approaches to fighting the opioid crisis as part of its industry-leading Opioid Stewardship program. More information is available at corporate.walmart.com/opioids.

Sustainable Chemistry

Safer, Healthier Food and Other Products: Sustainable Chemistry

Promoting Sustainable Chemistry

We work with our suppliers and beyond to promote sustainable chemistry by reducing and eliminating the production and use of priority chemicals.

Supplier Engagement & Results

Walmart’s Sustainable Chemistry Commitment encourages our suppliers to reduce or eliminate the production and use of priority chemicals. In 2020, we achieved the goal we set in 2017 to reduce our footprint of priority chemicals in formulated consumables4 for Walmart U.S. stores and Sam's Club U.S. by 10% by 2022, compared to our 2017 baseline.5 As of the end of 2021, the close of this goal, we have achieved a greater reduction than our initial goal—20%priority chemicals—through a combination of assortment changes, reformulation, and shifts in consumer purchases.

Weight change of in-scope priority chemicals in our consumable chemical footprint 567810

Priority Chemicals by Weight

0 50 100 150 200 250 2017 2018 2019 2 0 20 2 0 21 216 219 206 1 7 9 172
20% Reduction

in weight of in-scope priority chemicals in products sold in (2021 v. 2017)

Pounds of priority chemicals
covered by reduction goal

Proportion of Priority Chemicals (PC)

2017 2018 2019 2 0 20 2 0 21 1 % 1 % 2 % 2 % 1 % 2 % 1 . 97 % 1 . 9 2 % 1 .85 % 1 . 36 % 1 . 39 %
Decreased 58 Basis Points

in weight of priority chemicals as a percentage of total product weight (2017–2021)

Percentage of total in-scope
product weight presented by
priority chemicals

We determine "priority chemicals" by referencing regulatory and authoritative lists and cross-referencing these with consumable products sold by Walmart U.S. and Sam's Club U.S. that contain one or more of these chemicals. In 2021, there were approximately 130,000 in-scope beauty, personal care, baby, pet, and household cleaning products. We engage suppliers making these products and ask suppliers to reduce priority chemicals through product reformulation; we also ask them to improve transparency into ingredients and formulations and to certify products using credible accreditations such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice program, EWG Verified, or Cradle to Cradle (silver level or above).

To track and disclose progress toward our chemical reduction goal, Walmart asks suppliers to share their formulations for each in‐scope Universal Product Code (UPC) with the WERCSmart system, which is managed by safety certification organization UL. UL WERCSmart aggregates the information and calculates Walmart’s chemical footprint. In 2021, suppliers provided product formulations to UL WERCSmart for 94% of in‐scope UPCs.

Transparency & Industry Engagement

As the first U.S. retailer to announce a time-bound chemical reduction goal, we are continually learning and refining our process, assumptions and approach. We agreed to publicly disclose our answers to the 19 questions in the Chemical Footprint Survey and our overall final score in the 2020 survey Chemical Footprint Project. For 2021, the most recent year the award was made, Walmart was recognized as one of ten CFP Disclosure Leaders.

Read more about our current methodology in the Sustainable Chemistry Implementation Guide.


  • Food and product safety programs are dependent on the maturity, rigor, and efficacy of third-party standards and initiatives, and there are limits to the efficacy of tools used to monitor compliance with expectations.  
  • The success of food and product safety programs is dependent on suppliers’ capacity and willingness to meet high standards, as well as their performance.  
  • Food safety risks are often upstream and beyond the reach of traditional retailer oversight and monitoring tools. Lack of reliable data on the source/origin of certain commodities and product ingredients and the way they are produced—as well as the blending and commoditization of product inputs and ingredients—complicates food safety. The use of technology to improve transparency and traceability (e.g., blockchain) can help, but adoption takes time and further innovation is necessary to meet these challenges.  
  • The breadth of Walmart's global product offerings and dispersed geographical reach of supply chains can present challenges for supplier engagement and risk identification and mitigation.  
  • Walmart’s ability to scale healthier food options is dependent on customer preferences and demand (which can depend on the cost and convenience of such options) and the availability and cost of preferred products, ingredients, commodities, and inputs. Growth in and/or changes in our business can challenge our ability to meet customer demands consistent with our aspiration of healthier food for all.  
  • Pandemics, weather-related events, and political/social unrest can create supply/demand volatility and interrupt supply chains. Moreover, economic shifts can create sudden and volatile food access issues and increase demand for food donations. 

About Our Reporting

Additional Resources


1. In 2021, we consolidated our pest and wider food safety audits, while enhancing, streamlining, and strengthening various aspects of the audits.

2. In FY2021 we reported that more than 290,000 associates were trained in at least one food safety course. In FY2022 we reported that more than 980,000 associates globally were trained in at least one food safety course. The FY2022 number is higher due to, but not limited to, the following changes: FY2022 we offered more food safety training courses; training was disproportionately impacted in FY2021 by the COVID-19 pandemic; FY2022 includes all associates where FY2021 was U.S. based associates only; and in FY2022 we included the count of associates trained who subsequent to the completion of the training, left the company.

3. Based on reports from Feeding America.

4. Walmart measures its chemical footprint in terms of priority chemicals, or PCs based on supplier reports collected through UL WERCSmart for in-scope products sold. Walmart references regulatory and authoritative lists to determine priority chemicals. These lists can be found at https://www.walmartsustainabilityhub.com/sustainable-chemistry/implementation-guide/appendices. Our footprint covers in-scope formulated consumables products within beauty, personal care, baby, pet and household cleaning products sold by Walmart U.S. stores and Sam’s Clubs in the U.S. In any given year, an increase or decrease in UPC volume weight disclosures may impact reporting. To learn about formulation disclosure, please visit Section 2: Transparency of our Sustainable Chemistry Implementation Guide.

5. As part of our FY2020 reporting cycle, we restated our baseline year chemical footprint combined for Walmart U.S. stores and Sam’s Club U.S. locations from 220.8 million pounds of priority chemicals (PC) weight to 215.9 million pounds of PC weight based on formulations that our suppliers inadvertently assigned to the wrong Universal Product Code (UPC) registrations in UL’s WERCSmart. We updated the baseline to report the correct progress on our reduction goal. Suppliers provided product formulations to UL WERCSmart for 95% of in-scope UPCs.

6. Suppliers provided product formulations to UL WERCSmart for 96% of in-scope UPCs.

7. Suppliers provided product formulations to UL WERCSmart for 95% of in-scope UPCs.

8. Suppliers provided product formulations to UL WERCSmart for 94% of in-scope UPCs.

9. As a practical matter, the Great for You icon is typically found on qualifying packaged items, as opposed to individual qualifying fresh produce items. Products currently labeled in store and online today do not yet reflect the new, updated criteria.

10. For 2018, the calculations are based on Retail Link Data as of January 3, 2019 compared to WERCSmart data as of October 21, 2019. Suppliers provided product formulations to UL WERCSmart for 96% of in-scope UPCs.