GRI: 102-12; 102-13; 415-1
UN SDG: 16
G | Published: March 21, 2022
Through policy advocacy, support of the political process and collaborations with business coalitions, we aim to support public policy that is in the interests of our business, customers, associates and other stakeholders.
Relevance to Our Business & Society
Good public policy is good for business: it promotes a stable and predictable business environment and supports public goods that allow businesses and their stakeholders to thrive, including a cohesive society, a growing economy, a healthy environment, fair competition, and infrastructure. Public policy can also catalyze positive action on issues that are important to business and society, including climate change and economic opportunity.
Together with government and civil society, businesses play an important role in addressing societal issues. Walmart stakeholders, including customers, investors, associates, and communities, expect us to engage in public policy in a transparent manner to help solve social and environmental challenges relevant to our business.
Walmart aims to shape public policy that enables our business and the creation of shared value for our stakeholders. Our approach includes:
- Governance of Walmart’s public policy strategies to align with Walmart business priorities and values, promote transparency and comply with the law
- Advocating for policies at the local, state, national and international levels that promote the interests of our customers and other stakeholders in our business
- Engaging in the political process, including encouraging our associates to vote and contribute to the Walmart Inc. Political Action Committee for Responsible Government (WALPAC)
- Playing an active role in business coalitions and working with other companies on issues that affect our stakeholders and our business
Key Strategies & Progress
While Walmart has an interest in a broad range of public policy issues, we focus our engagement at the intersection of our business interests and the common good—especially those issues where our interventions can create the greatest shared value.
Governance & Transparency
Walmart’s governance of its public policy activities is designed to ensure alignment of public policy activities with Walmart business priorities and values, to promote transparency and to comply with the law. Governance includes Walmart Board of Directors and Board Committee oversight, management oversight and regular, transparent reporting on policy activities.
Board and Board Committee Oversight
By charter, the Nominating and Governance Committee (NGC) of the Walmart Inc. Board of Directors—a Board committee comprising entirely independent directors—oversees our public policy strategies and activities. Consistent with Walmart’s Government Relations Policy, management provides regular updates at least annually to the NGC concerning the company’s public policy strategy. In 2021, management discussions with the NGC included:
- Walmart’s planned U.S. federal government affairs and policy priorities for 2021-2022
- A review of 2020-2021 activities (including engagement with and through key trade associations)
- WALPAC contribution strategies, contributions and plans for 2021-2022
- International government affairs strategies
Highlights from these discussions were shared with the full Board.
Walmart management designs and implements our public policy activities day-to-day. Walmart’s Government Relations Policy governs the company’s interaction with elected officials and legislative and regulatory bodies at all levels. Among other things, the policy:
- Delineates roles and responsibilities with regard to interactions with public officials and legislative bodies:
- Walmart’s Government Affairs teams coordinate company interactions concerning public policy or electoral matters with elected or appointed officials and legislative and regulatory bodies at the global, federal, state/provincial and local levels
- Walmart’s Global Governance organization generally manages contacts with government agencies concerning litigation, enforcement, compliance and security matters;
- Sets parameters on the use of corporate and political action committee funds for political purposes (where legally permissible), including the criteria to be applied in making contributions;
- Governs fundraising and solicitation by Walmart associates; and
- Defines the criteria for evaluation of trade association memberships in light of their policy positions and/or political advocacy.
Walmart is committed to transparency regarding its public policy activities. Walmart submits quarterly reports to Congress that outline Walmart’s federal lobbying activities, including lobbying expenditures for the quarter and the specific legislative items and public policy issues that were the topics of communications. In the quarterly reports, Walmart also identifies the registered lobbyist who lobbied on behalf of the company. For more information regarding our federal lobbying activities, see the Lobbying Disclosure Electronic Filing system at Senate.gov. Our federal political contributions can also be found on the Senate website.
Beyond these required reports, Walmart’s Government Relations Policy commits the company to reporting at least annually on its public policy priorities, strategies and activities, as well as transparency in its trade association memberships and lobbying activities. Walmart has:
- Included a discussion regarding our public policy priorities, advocacy strategy and engagements in our ESG reporting since 2013
- Made state and federal lobbying information available on our Investor Relations website since 2015
- Disclosed its philosophy on trade association memberships and approach to dealing with trade association policy misalignments (see below)
- Published a list of trade associations to which Walmart contributes funds of $25,000 or more; we will update this list at least annually.
Advocating for Public Policy
Walmart engages in public policy discussions to promote the interests of our business, customers, associates, communities and other company stakeholders by focusing on issues that align with our shared value approach. We determine whether and how to weigh in on these matters by considering three factors:
- Relevance to Walmart’s business and brand: How closely the issue relates to our core business and whether engagement would align with our strategy, values, and vision.
- Stakeholder expectations: How customers, associates, communities and other stakeholder groups feel about the issue and the degree of alignment among them.
- Walmart’s ability to be an effective and credible actor: Whether Walmart can make a difference (alone or with others) on the issue, the degree to which Walmart is acting on the issue through its own business and whether our involvement in public dialogue on the issue would be welcome.
In the United States, key issues on which we engage in public advocacy include climate change, corporate tax policy, healthcare, individual data privacy, marketplace trust and transparency, racial equity, and trade and manufacturing.
In support of these efforts in the United States, we employ federal and state registered lobbyists and registered lobbyist consultants and engage in lobbying contacts as defined under the U.S. Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA). We also engage internationally to help create conditions for resilient growth of our global businesses and promote our values.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time, profoundly affecting all regions of the world and all sectors of society. We believe a strong climate strategy across government, business and civil society will help everyone manage the physical and transition risks associated with climate change, contributing to the resilience of our business and the communities we serve.
Walmart is committed to policy advocacy aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement:
- Our advocacy has been consistent with the Paris Climate Agreement since 2016. In 2021, we memorialized our commitment in a Board-approved Statement on Climate Policy. That statement frames our advocacy around achieving 1.5 degree-aligned, science-based national and international climate policies that are consistent with achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and that equitably address the needs of all stakeholders.
- We believe market-based and economy-wide emissions-reduction policies, like a price on carbon, are critical to achieving ambitious reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while supporting economic prosperity. We also recognize that market-based, technology-neutral approaches for hard-to-decarbonize sectors can play a valuable role in the absence of economy-wide action.
Recent examples of our direct public policy advocacy on major climate policy debates at the federal level in the U.S. include:
- Engaging lawmakers to support the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which our major trade associations also supported, and which includes federal investments in the energy and transportation sectors to support climate resilience.
- Speaking out publicly and engaging lawmakers directly to emphasize the importance and urgency of the climate provisions in the Build Back Better legislation, as well as conveying support for carbon pricing and sector-based, technology-neutral approaches to decarbonize sectors like agriculture.
- Recognizing bipartisan action on climate and submitting a letter of support to the U.S. Senate regarding the passage of the Growing Climate Solutions Act, which provides technical resources to farmers and ranchers to invest in nature-based climate solutions.
- Joining members of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute in endorsing a petition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the adoption of rules to prohibit the use of refrigerants with high global warming potential. We believe this will create a valuable national approach to phasing out the most harmful refrigerants in an expeditious fashion. Walmart also submitted a letter to the EPA supporting regulatory actions for stationary refrigeration equipment that are environmentally effective (e.g., limiting the use of refrigerants in new commercial systems with charges over 50 lbs. to those with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 150) and nationally consistent.
- Collaborating with PepsiCo to release a set of public policy principles to convey to federal and state policymakers the types of policy interventions, planning and guidance that can support the efficient and economical transition to zero-emission commercial transportation fleets. These principles reflect our business strategy, promote efficiency and optimization as a reduction pathway and take a technology-neutral approach so that we can align our distribution network outcomes with environmental and community benefits.
Walmart has also advocated for Paris-aligned climate policy on the global stage. For example, prior to COP26, we joined key public-private sector initiatives led by U.S. Special Envoy on Climate John Kerry. The first, Glasgow is Our Business, showcased strong CEO-level sector support for a successful COP26 agreement. The second, the Clean Energy Demand Initiative, works to convey demand and policy signals from large private sector buyers to drive clean energy investment in crucial global markets. We actively participated in business dialogues during COP26 and represented the official business observer groups in encouraging support and action on measures to solidify global carbon market rules and other policy elements in the Glasgow Climate Pact.
Walmart’s climate advocacy is part of a broader climate strategy that also includes governance, climate risk assessment, science-based targets and supporting mitigation initiatives, adaptation and disclosures through CDP and our ESG Reporting.
Read More: Climate Change.
Corporate Tax Policy
Walmart continues to be one of the largest corporate taxpayers and advocates for tax policy solutions that are competitive, fair and pro-growth. Keeping the U.S. corporate tax rate consistent with global competitors and ensuring U.S. companies are not subject to double taxation is important for fostering economic growth. This would allow for a reliable and consistent code that applies to all taxpayers and ensures that businesses continue to prioritize the United States as a primary place for investment and job creation.
Walmart is committed to providing accessible, affordable, human-centered care to our associates and the communities we serve. With 90 percent of the U.S. population located within 10 miles of a Walmart, more than 5,100 pharmacies nationwide, and approximately 4,000 Walmart stores located in a HRSA-designated medically underserved area or area with limited pharmacy options, we are in a unique position to provide health and wellness services to Americans. Accordingly, our public policy priorities focus on health equity, especially in pharmacy practice and telehealth.
Pharmacy Practice: To reach the most vulnerable populations, future healthcare policies and plan designs must recognize the critical role that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians play as key members of the healthcare team. Walmart advocates for permanent expansion of the role of the pharmacist, pharmacy intern and pharmacy technician in vaccination, testing and other practice areas; we believe this would help reduce health disparities and bridge the gap for those who live in rural and medically underserved areas.
Telehealth: With the COVID-19 pandemic came a dramatic increase in the utilization of telehealth and telecommunication technologies to remotely provide healthcare. Recognizing the importance of telehealth as an accessible, affordable and safe option for customers, associates and providers, Walmart actively supports the passage of legislation at the state and federal levels that make permanent some of the temporary telehealth coverage and reimbursement policy changes implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Individual Data Privacy
Walmart works with policymakers to enhance consumer privacy whether we meet those customers in the physical world, in the digital world or—as is increasingly the case—both. We strongly support bipartisan efforts toward a national privacy law that protects the rights of all consumers in the U.S. In the absence of a pre-emptive federal law, Walmart supports state laws that give consumers greater control over their data and that provide companies clear expectations and reasonable compliance standards.
Marketplace Trust & Transparency
Counterfeit and stolen goods are a growing problem on some online marketplaces. According to a 2020 report by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, illicit sales have become a massive criminal enterprise. Without sufficient marketplace safeguards, bad actors will continue to profit from the sale of fraudulent items to consumers.
As an omni-channel retailer, we support consumer protection legislation that would require online marketplaces to verify the identity and business information of third-party sellers and to publicly disclose basic information about third-party sellers.
Walmart advances racial equity primarily through our business, including by:
- Providing products and services that meet the needs of our customers;
- Implementing a workforce development strategy centered on creating access to employment, providing job stability and building mobility for professional advancement;
- Providing business opportunities for suppliers from underrepresented and marginalized communities; and
- Engaging in and supporting community life.
Because Walmart also wants to accelerate the dismantling of systemic racism in society, we launched teams of Walmart associates called Shared Value Networks (SVNs) to identify ways to bring Walmart business capabilities to bear on advancing equity in four societal systems: criminal justice, education, finance, and health.
We have committed to disclosing our progress on our own internal diversity, equity and inclusion within Walmart twice annually and we report on our broader equity and inclusion strategies in our ESG reporting.
Walmart supports public policies aligned with these priorities and values directly and through trade associations. Walmart has directly supported policy solutions, including:
- Supporting the enactment of meaningful hate crimes laws in several states across the country, engaging most recently in Arkansas, South Carolina, and Wyoming.
- Supporting federal and state proposals to enact the Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act, which would take meaningful steps to help reduce race-based hair discrimination and advance racial equity in society.
- Supporting the removal of unnecessary barriers to occupational licensure for individuals convicted of certain crimes. Such reforms address inequities in the criminal justice and workforce systems and expand employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for millions of Americans—particularly communities of color.
- Opposing debt-based transcript withholding which prevents many working learners from pursuing postsecondary education and skills training. In addition, Walmart supports the modernization of the federal tax code related to higher education expenses—specifically, increases in the overall allowable expense levels and updates to covered expenses that address the modern education environment.
In addition, under the then-Chairmanship of CEO Doug McMillion, the Business Roundtable established the Special Committee on Racial Equity and Justice. The Committee released a set of recommendations to promote bipartisan consensus on policing reform.
Read More: Equity & Inclusion at Walmart and Beyond.
Trade & U.S. Manufacturing
Walmart advocates globally for a rules-based global trade system to enhance economic growth through reduced barriers to market access, consumer choice and sustainable development. In addition, we engage in global advocacy to promote laws, policies and regulations that reduce risk, advance environmental sustainability, promote an enabling environment for U.S. manufacturing and promote worker dignity in supply chains. Our policy agenda includes:
- Working with governments to advance policies that facilitate trade in medical goods (e.g., masks, gowns and pharmaceuticals) necessary to combat the global pandemic;
- Advocating for environmental provisions in trade agreements as well as a successful conclusion to World Trade Organization fisheries negotiations;
- Working with suppliers and allied trade associations to oppose unilateral tariffs that increase costs for consumers and reduce competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers; and
- Engaging U.S. government agencies, including the State Department’s Trafficking in Person’s Office and the Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs, to promote effective approaches to root out forced labor. In particular, we have focused on promoting the responsible recruitment of migrant workers as a key element of combatting forced labor in global supply chains.
International Public Policy
Walmart seeks to help create conditions for resilient growth of our global businesses and promote Walmart’s values internationally. Recent examples include:
- Promoting Rule of Law Initiatives in Latin America. In Latin America, Walmart leads a multi-stakeholder initiative called Digital Tools for Rule of Law and Recovery (DT4RR), which seeks to promote digitalization of four key regulatory areas—tax administration, customs, licensing and permitting and government procurement. The model calls for government, the private sector, multilateral organizations and civil society to co-create, co-fund and co-implement the introduction of key digital tools to government regulatory systems. DT4RR’s work is done in coordination with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Rule of Law Coalition, the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America (AACCLA), the OECD Emerging Markets Network and the Americas Business Dialogue.
- Combating Forced Labor. Walmart is committed to combating forced labor in supply chains and believes that government action is key to addressing the systemic and global nature of this problem. Walmart has directly discussed with governments in Southeast Asia the need to enforce laws to reduce the prevalence of forced labor in the region, actions governments can take to address root causes of forced labor and ways governments can fill policy gaps relating to forced labor. We are also members of business organizations that engage governments on policy interventions relating to forced labor, including the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment and the Consumer Goods Forum. Finally, Walmart is the United States Business representative for the Bali Process Government and Business Forum, where we have worked with global business leaders to present policy recommendations to eliminate modern slavery to ministers of 40 countries in the Asia-Pacific.
- Strengthening China’s Food Safety Systems. Walmart created the Walmart Food Safety Collaboration Center (WFSCC) to focus on innovation, education and policy support in the China food safety system. The Center brings together stakeholders across industry, government, academia and trade associations to address the root causes of foodborne illness outbreaks, among other efforts. The Policy Support pillar of WFSCC aims to promote regulatory development and enforcement through supporting academic work on food safety laws and regulations.
Engagement in the Political Process
Walmart supports engagement in the political process, including by providing associates opportunities to contribute to the Walmart Inc. Political Action Committee for Responsible Government (WALPAC) and encouraging associates to vote.
In the United States, campaign finance laws at the federal level and in many states govern the use of corporate funds in the election process. WALPAC is funded solely with voluntary contributions from eligible associates and provides associates an opportunity to join together and participate in the political process.
WALPAC Contributions: Through WALPAC, associate contributions help elect lawmakers on both sides of the aisle—at the federal level and in certain states—to enable support of issues critical to the interests of our customers, associates, suppliers, communities and shareholders. In the most recent full election cycle (2019-2020), WALPAC’s federal donations were nearly evenly split, with 50.2% going to Republicans and 49.8% going to Democrats. WALPAC also makes contributions in 19 states where it is permissible to use federal PAC dollars. Contributions to state and federal candidates and committees are made considering a wide range of criteria such as voting records, Congressional leadership positions, committee membership and legislative activity. WALPAC’s campaign contributions to elected officials are not an endorsement of all their individual beliefs, voting records or comments, and WALPAC may examine candidates’ public statements, social media posts and other communications when making contribution decisions.
WALPAC Governance: WALPAC’s activities are governed by the WALPAC Advisory Board comprising Walmart Inc. officers and senior management. The WALPAC Board sets the overall budget for a calendar year, and WALPAC senior management determines how to disburse WALPAC funds according to criteria set in the budgeting process. WALPAC reexamines and adjusts its overall strategy at the end of each election cycle. In accordance with federal election regulations, a report of WALPAC receipts and contributions is disclosed to the Federal Election Commission on a monthly basis.
Associate Participation in the Electoral Process
Walmart has joined Time to Vote, a business-led, non-partisan coalition that aims to increase voter participation in elections. We have taken steps to encourage our associates to vote, including offering them paid time off to do so, if needed. At appropriate times in the electoral cycle, we also post signs in our stores and clubs directing customers and associates to resources that will help them stay informed and participate in elections, including information on requesting an absentee ballot, voter registration deadlines, polling locations and candidates on the ballot in their communities.
Working Through Business Organizations
In addition to direct advocacy and political engagement in areas consistent with our shared value approach, Walmart is also a member of certain trade associations and coalitions that the company believes can assist us in achieving our long-term strategic objectives. These organizations and coalitions allow us to work with other companies on policy issues that impact the retail sector and beyond. A list of trade associations to which Walmart contributed funds of $25,000 or more in 2021 is available here.
Walmart’s Approach to Engaging Trade Associations
Walmart supports trade associations for many reasons, including development and sharing of best practices on matters important to the industry, advocacy on behalf of industry interests, promotion of public policy and/or general support for an organization’s mission. Walmart’s engagement model depends on the role the trade association plays in helping Walmart achieve its strategic objectives, and may include varying levels of financial support, involvement on the board and/or with key committees, or targeted financial support for key initiatives within a broader organization.
As Walmart transforms its business and trade associations reevaluate their priorities, misalignments may occur. Where they do, we directly engage our trade associations to help them understand our priorities and positions. We also periodically reevaluate our memberships and engagement models to ensure alignment.
Engagement: We communicate our strategic priorities and perspective on matters of public policy with our trade associations, policymakers and—as appropriate—the public so that our positions are known. For example, we have shared our views on climate policy with key trade associations, the public and lawmakers (see above).
Membership and Financial Support Reviews: We periodically review our trade association memberships and determine if any adjustments are needed in our membership status or the financial support we provide to the organization. Where we generally support the organization’s priorities and the positions the organization has taken on major issues, we may maintain general membership in the organization while working to influence the organization’s direction as necessary. For example, we maintain general membership in the Business Roundtable and work to influence the organization as described elsewhere in this brief. In other instances, we may elect only to provide financial support for particular organizational initiatives. For example, we do not pay general membership dues to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce but financially support certain specific U.S. Chamber of Commerce initiatives including the Institute for Legal Reform, Rule of Law Coalition, and Workforce Freedom Initiative. If a relationship—on balance—does not align with our priorities, we would end ties with the organization altogether.
Below are examples of some of the larger and more active organizations in which we participate and the ways they help to further our shared value objectives.
Retail Industry and General Business Associations
We are members of business groups that work on issues important to the advancement and growth of the retail sector and business at large, including:
Business Roundtable: Business Roundtable promotes the U.S. economy and expanded opportunities for Americans through sound public policies. In 2019, Business Roundtable released its Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, which was signed by 181 CEOs, including Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, who served as Business Roundtable’s chair in 2020-2021. The Statement lays out a modern corporate responsibility standard by which companies operate for the benefit of all stakeholders, including customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders. We have endorsed Business Roundtable’s call for a U.S. national climate policy solution to reduce U.S.-based emissions by at least 80% by 2050 through a market-based mechanism that includes a price on carbon. Walmart worked with Business Roundtable on its statement expressing support for the climate provisions in Build Back Better and to craft a global statement on climate action that was endorsed by business groups in Canada, Mexico, the European Union and Australia. We supported the Business Roundtable’s 2020 launch of a Special Committee for Racial Equity and Justice and the recommendations related to racial equity. And we have spearheaded Business Roundtable’s Multiple Pathways Initiative, which seeks to reform hiring and talent management practices to emphasize the value of skills, rather than just degrees. The initiative is aligned with Walmart’s own Economic Opportunity in Retail Initiative, which seeks to promote equitable advancement with a focus on America’s frontline talent.
Consumer Goods Forum (CGF): Comprising more than 400 retailers, manufacturers and service providers, CGF addresses key social and environmental challenges facing the industry, including forced labor, deforestation, health and wellness, food safety, food waste, plastic waste and data transparency. Walmart is a CGF member and Walmart CEO Doug McMillon serves on its Board of Directors. Our work with CGF includes advocating for the adoption of the packaging “golden design rules” to advance plastic reduction efforts and improve recyclability, along with working to advance global principles for Extended Producer Responsibility programs for managing plastic and packaging waste.
National Retail Federation: The National Retail Federation (NRF) is the largest retail trade association, representing large and small retailers with a variety of business models. In January 2022, Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner was elected chairman of the board of NRF. NRF represents the retail industry across a broad range of policy areas including taxes, workforce and sustainability. In January 2022, in partnership with Walmart and other leading retailers, NRF released the “Retailers Reaching for Net-zero” guide, a document developed with the NRF Sustainability Council (of which Walmart is a member). The guide makes the business case for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, provides a pathway for setting science-based greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and provides an extensive resource list to assist retailers in reaching their own sustainability goals. Walmart is also a participating member of the NRF Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group. The purpose of the group is to create opportunities for members to exchange ideas and best practices on issues that seek to enhance diversity in the retail corporate workplace.
Retail Industry Leaders Association: The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) brings together the nation’s leading retailers to advance the industry through public policy advocacy, operational excellence and innovation. In April 2021, RILA released a set of climate priorities that summarized the member perspective and considerations on greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies and categories that closely intersect with industry operations and receive policy attention at the state and federal levels. Walmart provided insights to RILA to help develop this report and supported its release. In February 2022, RILA released its Retail Climate Action Blueprint, which provides guidance applicable to retail organizations’ climate action strategies. Walmart provided feedback on the Blueprint and was quoted in the press release announcing its release.
International Business Coalitions
We are members of coalitions that seek to facilitate commerce across borders, including:
Americas Business Dialogue: Americas Business Dialogue brings together companies from across the western hemisphere to develop, disseminate and support the implementation of policy recommendations that contribute to a business environment conducive to sustained economic growth. Walmart chairs the Transparency and Regulatory Cooperation Working Group, where we’ve played a leading role in designing and advocating for e-government reforms and building a cross-sector model for the implementation of these reforms.
Business 20 (B20): B20 is the official G20 dialogue forum with the global business community. Walmart co-chairs the Digital Economy Task Force, which crafts recommendations to the G20 heads of state on how to improve digital-economy inclusion. Walmart also sits on the Employment & Education Task Force.
Business at OECD: Recognized as the voice of business at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Business at OECD brings together firms from across the world to build positions on OECD policy initiatives. Walmart is actively engaged in the Corporate Governance and Responsible Business Policy Group and is a vice chair of the Environment and Energy Policy Group.
International Chamber of Commerce: The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) promotes international trade, responsible business conduct and a global approach to economic regulation. Walmart participates in the trade dialogues that leverage the voice of the business community at the World Trade Organization, the Commission on Corporate Responsibility and Anti-Corruption, the Commission on Environment and Energy and the Informal Working Group on Business and Human Rights. At COP26, Walmart actively engaged with ICC/U.S. Council for International Business representatives supporting business sector engagement with official negotiations. Walmart represented the business groups in delivering a statement to the Conference of Parties during one of the High-level Segments, which included language encouraging action on Article 6 and formalizing rules for global carbon markets.
Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation: The Global Alliance is a public-private partnership that works to identify and deliver commercially meaningful reforms to facilitate international trade. Walmart serves on the steering committee.
World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Trade and Investment: Walmart is a member of the Global Future Council on Trade and Investment, where we advise leaders on the role of trade and investment in creating sustainable, resilient and equitable companies, economies and societies.
We are members of coalitions aligned with our climate aspirations, including our aspiration to get to zero emissions in our own operations by 2040. In addition to working to shape climate strategies and advocacy within the Business Roundtable, CGF, NRF and RILA, as noted above, we are members of other coalitions advocating for an enabling policy environment, including:
Race to Zero – Retail Campaign: We support the effort to achieve net zero emissions in the retail sector by 2050. This support includes our role as co-lead of the Retail Race to Zero campaign along with IKEA, H&M, Kingfisher and Best Buy. In 2021, we represented the coalition at COP26 in Glasgow, welcoming several new signatories to the campaign and announcing a new Accelerator program.
We Are Still In: We are a signatory to the We Are Still In coalition, which demonstrates our long-standing commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. In line with this, we signed the We Mean Business/Ceres letter that supports a U.S. goal to cut emissions by at least 50% by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Clean Energy Buyers Association (CEBA): Walmart is a long-time member of CEBA (formerly the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance), a collaboration of clean energy buyers, energy providers and service providers that, together with NGO partners, seek a transition to a zero-carbon energy future. The group advocates for policies such as wholesale energy market expansion, flexible financing for renewables, retail access and a federal carbon-free green grid. We advised and endorsed CEBA’s statement on Build Back Better, which emphasized market and policy-based measures to decarbonize the grid.
Read More: Climate Change.
Other Coalitions to Advocate for Environmental and Social Sustainability
Our aspiration to become a regenerative company includes aiming to protect, preserve and restore nature through supplier engagement and philanthropy, as well as reducing waste to zero. To shape an enabling public policy environment, we engage with several coalitions, including:
Business for Nature (BFN): We are members of BFN, a global coalition that brings together business and conservation organizations to call for governments to adopt policies to reverse nature loss in this decade. In 2020, we supported BFN's Call to Action to reverse nature loss by 2030. BFN has been mobilizing members to provide official comment to inform the global biodiversity framework that is set to be negotiated at the UN COP15 in 2022. We have actively participated in the drafting and development of these policy recommendations and been a strong proponent of language that highlights that the climate and nature dialogues should be strongly linked, and recognize the critical role nature plays in climate mitigation.
Midwest Row Crop Collaborative: We are a member of the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative, which develops solutions for removing barriers to widespread adoption of regenerative agricultural practices. It promotes policies that align conservation and farm profitability in Midwest markets. The group also endorsed the bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act, which reflects a valuable strategy for increasing carbon sequestration opportunities in the agricultural supply chain.
Consumer Goods Forum and World Economic Forum: Walmart is a member of the Forest Positive Coalition and the Tropical Forest Alliance collective action forum. Walmart also participates in the Plastic Waste Coalition for Action which has released guidance on policy design principles to address problematic plastic packaging and principles for the optimal design of extended producer responsibility programs for managing plastic and packaging waste.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation and U.S. Plastics Pact: The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works to re-think, re-design and build a positive future circular economy. Walmart supports the organization’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment and is a partner. The Pact is a coalition of businesses, government entities, non-governmental organizations, researchers and other stakeholders who work collectively toward a common vision of a circular economy for plastics, including by advocating for policy regimes to enable achieving 100% reusable/recyclable/compostable packaging by 2025.
LEAF Coalition: Walmart.org participates in the LEAF Coalition, a coalition bringing together the private sector and governments to provide finance for tropical and subtropical forest conservation commensurate with the scale of the climate change challenge, to learn along with our peers.
- Walmart is a complex, growing business operating across multiple sectors to bring essential products and services to people who need them. There are dozens of public policy issues that bear on our ability to deliver on our mission, and we must constantly keep them in balance.
- The public expects a company's political engagement to align with its values. At the same time, there can be pressure to weigh in on issues that are not core to our business or critical to a majority of our stakeholders. We have decision-making processes to determine whether and how to speak up, but we may not always meet all stakeholders’ expectations.
- The political process is subject to many factors. Walmart is one actor and may not be able to influence public policy or its trade associations. And Walmart is often in the position of supporting certain aspects of legislation or regulation while opposing other aspects. Stakeholders may not fully appreciate or recognize these nuanced positions.
- Walmart may not agree with every position or lobbying action taken by trade associations to which we belong. We work to influence these associations, particularly in our priority areas, but ultimately, they set their own agendas. As discussed above, we have processes to determine how to handle such misalignments, but we may not always meet all stakeholders’ expectations.