Product supply chains: sustainability overview

SASB: FB-FR-430a.3; CG-AA-430b.3; CG-AA-440a.1
GRI: 102-9; 102-12; 103-1; 103-2; 103-3; 305-5; 308-2; 417-1
UN SDGs: 2, 8, 12, 14, 15
E S | Last Updated: July 7, 2021

Our aspiration

Our aspiration

Walmart aims to accelerate progress on the sustainability of our own assortment as well as product supply chains across the retail and consumer goods industry, with a focus on environmental and social issues including climate, nature, waste, working conditions, responsible recruitment and economic opportunity for people working in product supply chains, and the availability of affordable, safer and healthier food and other products.

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Relevance to our business & society

Retail supply chains bring quality, affordable products to consumers around the world. Sustainable supply chains create value for companies and for society by mitigating business risks, increasing supply chain resilience and efficiency, improving product availability and quality, building trust and creating opportunities for workers.

Walmart’s supply chain reaches more than 100,000 suppliers globally and many of those suppliers also have their own supply chain. Walmart expects that the products we purchase and sell are made in the right way by suppliers who act ethically and respect the dignity of workers. Walmart’s stakeholders—including its customers—have the same expectations. In addition, companies like Walmart need to be part of the solution to environmental challenges such as climate change and depletion of natural capital in order to maintain our license to operate, uphold supply and create value for business and society through regenerative initiatives that draw on our unique corporate capabilities.

Walmart’s approach

As a multicategory retailer operating around the world and with a global supply chain, Walmart engages suppliers, customers and NGOs in sustainability initiatives across a wide range of product supply chains. Because of the complexity of global supply chains and the systemic nature of issues such as climate change or forced labor, lasting improvement requires collaboration among many stakeholders.

To improve the sustainability of a given product supply chain, we start by listening to our customers and other stakeholders to set aspirations, such as emissions reduction or economic inclusion, and prioritize improvements to the product supply chain system, such as farming practices or commodity traceability. We make progress by:

  • Setting standards and requirements for Walmart product sourcing
  • Engaging Walmart suppliers to spark action, share best practices and tools and encourage measurement and disclosure
  • Leading and contributing to industry consortia and initiatives to accelerate collective action beyond Walmart
  • Helping Walmart customers make informed choices through labeling and cause campaigns
  • Advocating for public policies that align with sustainable supply chain priorities
  • Accelerating systems change beyond Walmart through philanthropic investments

Key strategies & progress

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Product sourcing

Walmart uses sourcing requirements and specifications to signal demand for more sustainable products.

  • Requirements: Our Standards for Suppliers outlines our expectations for suppliers and supply chains, including on the dignity of workers in the supply chain, environmental protection, food and product safety, and ethics and integrity. The Standards are supported by our Human Rights Statement and complemented by several supplier compliance policies, including our Global Forced Labor Prevention Policy, Global Responsible Sourcing Policy, and Global Food Safety Policy. Read more about Walmart’s approach to responsible sourcing, including our risk-based approach to monitoring and compliance with our standards: People in supply chains brief and our Walmart Policies and Guidelines page.
  • Specifications: The most direct way to make a product supply chain more sustainable is through the product itself. For the products that Walmart carries, our merchants may specify attributes through the following mechanisms:

    • Issue-specific policies, guidelines and position statements: Walmart has developed sourcing policies, guidelines and position statements such as for seafood, apparel, plastic packaging and animal welfare that require products to meet certain criteria in order for Walmart to sell them. Read more: Walmart Sustainability Hub.
    • Certifications: We ask our suppliers to validate that particular commodities, including palm oil, pulp and paper, tuna, coffee, and cotton, have been produced to specific certification standards. Certifications help communicate to consumers that our suppliers have met the appliable environmental or social sustainability standards of the certifying body. We also work with suppliers to source from place-based efforts that help preserve natural ecosystems and improve livelihoods. Read more: Regeneration of natural resources: forests, land, oceans.
    • Product and packaging specifications: We ask our private brand suppliers to work toward and report progress on our goal to use 100% recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable packaging for our private brand products by 2025. Read more in the Waste: plastics and Waste: circular economy briefs.
  • Special product sourcing initiatives: Walmart aims to advance economic inclusion through programs to source from diverse suppliers and suppliers in emerging markets, such as small producers in Mexico, India and South Africa. Read more: Equity & inclusion at Walmart and beyond and Supplier opportunity.

Supplier engagement & support

Walmart leads several programs to engage and support suppliers in pursuing ambitious environmental and social initiatives in their product supply chains (see Sustainable product supply chains: key business and philanthropic initiatives by issue table for an overview by sustainability issue). Our intention is to inspire action on complex global problems (e.g., climate change) by encouraging and assisting our suppliers to take first steps, disclose their progress, raise their aspirations and expand their impact.

A few examples:

  • Project Gigaton: Since 2017, more than 3,100 suppliers have joined Project Gigaton, we have rallied more than 2,100 suppliers to set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time limited) goals to draw down emissions, and over 1,500 are reporting through the online platform. The project aims to avoid one billion metric tons (a gigaton) of greenhouse gases from our global value chain by 2030, inviting suppliers to take action in six areas: Energy, Agriculture, Waste, Forests, Packaging and Product use and design. The Project Gigaton online platform offers resources such as calculators to help set and report on goals within the initiative, workshops on best practices and links to additional resources provided by Walmart or third parties (e.g., the Gigaton Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), a collective renewable energy contracting initiative that provides suppliers market access to utility-scale PPAs). To date, suppliers report a cumulative total of more than 416 million MT of CO2e avoided.181 Looking ahead, we will build out our Forest and Agriculture pillars to capture suppliers’ goals and progress related to natural capital.
  • Packaging engagement: We encourage our suppliers to work toward 100% reusable, recyclable and compostable packaging and provide them with resources to help achieve that goal, such as the Sustainable Packaging Playbook and working sessions to share best practices to optimize packaging (e.g., our November 2020 Packaging Summit, attended by over 3,000 participants). We ask private brand suppliers to report their progress through our packaging survey.
  • Responsible recruitment: We promote the use of responsible recruitment practices and implement the Employer Pays Principle, including by providing training resources for suppliers and factories (e.g., mitigating risk of involuntary labor in supply chains) and holding suppliers accountable to these principles through our Standards for Suppliers, audits and case management processes.  Another example is our work to help develop the Ethical Charter on Responsible Labor Practices, which establishes a common set of principles for how to responsibly produce fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers. The Ethical Charter is based on a foundation of employment law, good management systems and sound occupational safety and health practices. Read more: People in supply chains.

In addition, to encourage progress on environmental and social sustainability issues across product lifecycles, we ask our suppliers to report progress on KPIs through THESIS and other measurement platforms, such as CDP for GHG emissions and forests. Approximately 70% of our U.S. net sales were represented by suppliers who reported to one or more sustainability surveys.182

Read more: Walmart Sustainability Hub and related Walmart ESG issue briefs.

Industry consortia & initiatives

To facilitate progress toward addressing complex and systemic sustainability issues across industry supply chains, we collaborate with other organizations in many consortia and initiatives (several of which we have founded) as illustrated in the Sustainable product supply chains: Key business and philanthropic initiatives by issue and Sustainable product supply chains: Focus areas by category tables.

For example, Walmart is:

  • A member of the Consumer Goods Forum, which brings together leading retailers and consumer goods manufacturers to address social and environmental issues. Walmart co-leads or is an active member of the following Coalitions of Action established by the Consumer Goods Forum: Plastic Waste; Food Waste; Forest Positive; Global Food Safety Initiative; Human Rights – Working to End Forced Labor; Collaboration on Healthier Lives; and Product Data.
  • Supporting the retail breakthrough campaign on the Race to Zero to achieve net zero emissions in the retail sector by 2050.
  • A member of coalitions to conserve, restore or better manage landscapes; for example, we co-founded the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative, which has helped implement sustainable agriculture practices on over a quarter-million acres in the Upper Mississippi River Basin in the last four years.
  • A core partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, helping to launch and support industry engagement in Plastics Pacts in multiple countries to accelerate progress toward 100% reusable, recyclable and compostable packaging. In FY2021, Walmart also co-founded the Beyond the Bag coalition with Closed Loop Partners and a number of other retailers to develop innovative, industry-wide alternatives to single-use plastic bags.
  • Working with the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment, CGF Human Rights Coalition on Forced Labor and the Seafood Task Force to help make responsible recruitment the norm and address forced labor in supply chains.
  • A co-founder or member of multiple industry efforts to promote safer working conditions, including through Nirapon, an organization focused on monitoring ongoing safety compliance and maintaining the progress made through the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety; the Life and Building Safety initiative; and the Ethical Charter on Responsible Labor Practices, which established industry principles for respecting human rights in the produce sector; over 100 of Walmart’s produce suppliers have confirmed their commitment to the Charter.
  • A contributor to the U.N. Food Systems Summit, which facilitates best-practice sharing to transform the way the world produces and consumes food; active supporter of the Global Food Safety Initiative and the creator of the Walmart Food Safety Collaboration Center in China, now in its sixth year, which continues to bring together stakeholders across industry, government, academia and trade associations to address the root causes of foodborne illness. The center focuses on three aspects of the food safety system: innovation, education and policy support. The center’s work is also supported by a $25 million philanthropic commitment from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation (on track to be fulfilled by the end of 2021).
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Read more: People in Supply Chains and the Regeneration of natural resources: Forests, land, oceans.

Customer engagement

While we seek to improve the sustainability of all products, some customers seek specific attributes in products. To help these customers, we use in-store signage and encourage suppliers to label products. Examples of on-pack labeling:

  • Certification logos: Certified products typically carry the relevant certification logo on pack (e.g., MSC; Rainforest Alliance); in some cases, we use in-store signage to call out products with social or environmental attributes (e.g., sustainable seafood shelf signage for Walmart U.S.). For more information on key commodities that we have committed to source sustainably by 2025, including metrics on relevant certified products, see: Regeneration of natural resources: Forests, land, oceans.
  • Recycling labels: We have asked our private brand suppliers to label our food and consumable product packaging with consumer-friendly recycling information, and we encourage our national brand suppliers to provide similar label information. Our goal is for 100% of Walmart U.S. private brand food and consumable packaging to include the How2Recycle® label by 2022. In FY2021, 57% of Walmart U.S. private brand food/consumables supplier-reported sales came from items carrying the How2Recycle® label and 67% of Sam’s Club U.S. private brand supplier-reported sales came from items carrying the How2Recycle® label.183 We are encouraging our national brand suppliers to make similar commitments through our Project Gigaton platform and through joining the U.S. Plastics Pact.
  • Great for You icon: We developed the Great for You icon to identify private brand products that meet nutrition criteria informed by the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which was developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Institute of Medicine. The icon is carried by nearly 8% of qualifying products, including fresh produce and the Great Value and Marketside private brands.
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Advocacy

We advocate for public policies that align with our sustainable supply chain priorities. For example:

  • To create a policy environment that enables climate action while promoting economic prosperity, we advocated for countries to support the Paris Agreement and Renewable Energy Buyers Principles.
  • We are a member of the Consumer Goods Forum’s Forest Positive Coalition of Action, which works with governments to support forest-positive policies that focus on Brazil, China, the European Union and Indonesia.
  • We advocated for responsible recruitment through the Bali Process and direct engagement with government leaders in southeast Asia.
  • Through the Seafood Task Force, we support policies that address illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing to solve the social and environmental issues associated with these practices.
  • As a member of the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative, Walmart supported the federal, bipartisan Row Crop Bill to encourage practices that support soil health.

Read more: Engagement in public policy.

Philanthropy

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s sustainable supply chain strategies seek to accelerate systems change through philanthropic investments, including grants and in-kind support. These investments fund research to align stakeholders on scientific issues; support programs that strengthen social and environmental practices in farms and fisheries; empower workers, especially women and other marginalized people; enhance transparency and product traceability; and contribute to a policy environment that promotes sustainability.

For example, Walmart supports the Rainforest Alliance and Sustainably Grown (SCS) and their work to help banana farmers in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, Honduras and Mexico to enhance farm business management practices, minimize agrochemical use, conserve natural ecosystems and promote climate resilience.

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Read more about our philanthropic work to address systemic supply chain issues: Regeneration of natural resources: Forests, land, oceans, People in supply chains and Human rights.

Walmart sustainable product supply chains: example business & philanthropic initiatives by issue

Program
Issue
Walmart product sourcing
Walmart supplier engagement
Leadership and advocacy in retail & CPG industry
Philanthropy (Walmart & Walmart Foundation)
Climate
Decarbonizing product supply chains
  • Deforestation and packaging specs (see below)
  • Project Gigaton: all pillars (energy, product design, waste, packaging, forests, agriculture)
  • Gigaton PPA with Schneider Electric
  • Race to Zero
  • Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA)
  • Business Roundtable (climate position)
  • WWF Climate Business Network
  • Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Supply Chain
  • We Are Still In
  • Publicly available climate risk tools

Program
Issue
Walmart product sourcing
Walmart supplier engagement
Leadership and advocacy in retail & CPG industry
Philanthropy (Walmart & Walmart Foundation)
Nature
Deforestation
Certifications
  • Safe Trace w/ WMT China & Chile
  • RSPO
  • UTZ-Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade USA
  • FSC, SFI, Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certifications
     
  • Project Gigaton: Forests
  • Consumer Goods Forum – Forest Positive Coalition of Action
  • Tropical Forest Alliance
  • One Planet Business for Biodiversity 
  • Business for Nature (WBCSD)
  • Sustainable Coffee Challenge (Conservation International)
  • Strengthening certifications 
  • Advancing transparency and actionable data 
  • Place-based programs
  • Acres for America program
Agriculture, land, watersheds
  • Preferred cotton goal: Better Cotton Initiative, Cotton USA, organic cotton, recycled cotton, Fair Trade USA cotton
  • Project Gigaton: Sustainable agriculture
  • Textile production – Higg Facility Environmental Module (FEM) adoption goal
  • Pollinator policy (April 2021) and pollinator health requirements –Lawn and Garden, Produce
  • Midwest Row Crop Collaborative (co-founder)
  • U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
  • Strengthening certifications
  • Advancing transparency and actionable data
  • Place-based programs
  • Acres for America program
Ocean
Certifications
  • MSC, BAP, ASC, GSSI, Global GAP
  • Seafood Taskforce (STF) 
  • STF
  • Seafood Fisheries Partnership 
  • Strengthening certifications
  • Advancing transparency and actionable data
  • Place-based programs

Program
Issue
Walmart product sourcing
Walmart supplier engagement
Leadership and advocacy in retail & CPG industry
Philanthropy (Walmart & Walmart Foundation)
Waste
Packaging waste
  • 100% reusable, recyclable, compostable private brand packaging by 2025
  • Category-level targets and initiatives
  • Plastic survey and reporting
  • Sustainable Packaging Playbook
  • Sustainable Packaging Summits
  • SystemIQ workshops by packaging type
  • Ellen MacArthur Foundation (core partner)
  • Plastics Pacts (advisor and member, U.S., Canada, Mexico)
  • Consumer Goods Forum – Plastic Waste Coalition for Action (co-lead)
  • Beyond the Bag, Closed Loop Partners (co-founder)
  • The Recycling Partnership (Circularity Council advisor and member)
  • Sustainable Packaging Coalition (member)
  • Recycling infrastructure
  • Materials innovation & design
  • Consumer behavior
  • The Recycling Partnership (Polypropylene Recycling Advisory Council and Plastic IQ funder and Advisory Board)
  • Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund (Advisory Committee)
  • Support U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Beyond34 Initiative
Food Waste
  • 10x20x30 recruitment
  • 10x20x30 (World Resources Institute)
  • Consumer Goods Forum Food Waste Coalition (member)
  • Prevention of food waste and loss
  • Recovery of food/ diversion from landfill
Textiles
  • thredUP partnership for pre-owned resale
  • Recycled fiber goals (recycled cotton and polyester)
  • Textile fiber survey – preferred cotton and recycled polyester
  • Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC – Board members)
  • Supported Accelerating Circularity to conduct research and plan textile to textile recycling pilots in the U.S.
Animal Welfare
Standards; housing
  • Animal welfare position
  • Cage-free egg position
  • Swine assurance position
  • Antibiotics position
  • THESIS collaboration to incorporate animal housing KPIs

Program
Issue
Walmart product sourcing
Walmart supplier engagement
Leadership and advocacy in retail & CPG industry
Philanthropy (Walmart & Walmart Foundation)
Worker dignity
Responsible recruitment/forced labor
  • Human Rights Statement
  • Standards for Suppliers
  • Grievance mechanisms
  • Monitoring through audits and investigations
  • Responsible sourcing program
  • Scaling Seafood Task Force tools like the Code of Conduct, Guidance on Responsibility for Recruitment-Related Costs, and the Vessel Auditable Standards (VAS)
  • Responsible Recruitment training and reporting
  • Produce Marketing Association/United Fresh Ethical Charter
  • Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment (member)
  • Seafood Task Force
  • Responsible Business Alliance – Responsible Labor Initiative (Steering Committee and working group member)
  • Consumer Goods Forum – Human Rights Coalition
  • Truckers Against Trafficking
  • Association of Professional Supply Chain Auditors (APSCA) (helped found; member)
  • Strengthening demand for responsible labor and practices
  • Using data and technology to increase transparency about labor practices
  • Enhancing worker and community voices
  • Supporting efforts to improve enforcement of existing regulations
Working conditions
  • Human Rights Statement
  • Standards for Suppliers
  • Grievance mechanisms
  • Monitoring through audits and investigations
  • Responsible sourcing program
  • Responsible Sourcing Academy (tools, training)
  • APSCA (helped found; member)
  • Nirapon (founding and Board member; successor to Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety)
  • Life and Building Safety (LABS) (founding and Board member)
  • Ethical Charter
  • Consumer Goods Forum – Human Rights Coalition

Program
Issue
Walmart product sourcing
Walmart supplier engagement
Leadership and advocacy in retail & CPG industry
Philanthropy (Walmart & Walmart Foundation)
Inclusive economic opportunity
Supplier diversity
  • Supplier Inclusion Statement
  • Supplier diversity program
  • Over the past nine years, Walmart spent over $39 billion with women-owned businesses in the U.S. (for merchandising and services combined) through our supplier inclusion program
  • International programs/diversity; market access (see below)
  • Supplier Inclusion Handbook
  • Supplier Inclusion Portal
  • Diverse suppliers microsite on Walmart.com
  • U.S. Open Call
  • National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
  • Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
  • WEConnect International
  • Enterprising Women
  • Women Presidents Organization
  • Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity - Finance pillar
Market access
  • Walmex small enterprise and small producer programs
  • Massmart Supplier Development Program
  • Vriddhi India
  • Flipkart Samarth Program
  • Chile Mujeres Para Chile
  • Guatemala Cadenas de Valor
  • Central America’s Una Mano para Crecer
  • Walmex and CAM manufacturing and agricultural supplier development/"Adopt a SME or small producer" and "Accounts with Us"
  • Massmart diverse and SME capacity development
  • Vriddhi and Flipkart SME capacity development
  • Walmart Standards for Suppliers and third-party auditing platform
  • Connecting farmer organizations/ producers to markets
  • Strengthening business skills and sustainability practices
  • Tata-Cornell FPO Center of Excellence 
  • Promoting gender inclusion and empowerment for women producers
  • Walmex Foundation investments in small producer capacity development
Manufacturing jobs/development
  • Made in USA $350 billion sourcing commitment; launching “American Lighthouses” to bring together various stakeholders to identify and overcome barriers to U.S. production
  • India $10 billion sourcing commitment
  • U.S. Open Call 
  • Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity - Education Pillar 

Program
Issue
Walmart product sourcing
Walmart supplier engagement
Leadership and advocacy in retail & CPG industry
Philanthropy (Walmart & Walmart Foundation)
Safer, healthier food & products
Nutrition
  • Walmart’s Great for You icon
  • Stores, pickup in food deserts
  • Affordable fresh food
  • Variety in food offerings (organic food, alternative protein sources)
  • Food ingredient reformulation
  • “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaigns (U.S., Canada)
  • Consumer Goods Forum – Collaboration for Healthier Lives
  • Increase equitable access and evolve food programs
  • Nutrition literacy
  • Behavioral nudges
Food safety
  • Global Food Safety Policy
  • GFSI benchmarked standards
  • Blockchain program
  • Consumer Goods Forum – Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)
  • Walmart Food Safety Collaboration Center (China)
China:
  • Education 
  • Innovation/ technology 
Sustainable chemistry
  • Sustainable Chemistry Commitment
  • UL WERCSmart chemical footprint reporting
  • EDF collaboration 
  • Sustainable chemistry workshops 
  • Chemical Footprint Project

Walmart sustainable product supply chains: focus areas by category

Top priority Special initiatives Continuous improvement
ProduceRow cropsSpecialty cropsSeafoodMeat/dairyPackaged foodConsumablesTextilesAcross categories
Climate
Project Gigaton: Packaging, waste and agricultural practices
Project Gigaton: Agricultural practices
Project Gigaton: Forest positive and agricultural practices
Project Gigaton: Packaging, waste, energy utilization
Project Gigaton: Forest positive practices and agricultural practices
Project Gigaton: Packaging, forest positive and agricultural practices
Project Gigaton: Packaging and energy utilization
Project Gigaton: Energy utilization
We Are Still In, Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, Race to Zero, BRT (climate position), WWF Climate Business Network
Zero Waste
Plastic and packaging: Reduction, recyclable and use of How2Recycle® label; SystemIQ workshops

Investments in food waste prevention and recovery
Plastic and packaging: Reduction, recyclable and use of How2Recycle® label; SystemIQ workshops

Investments in food waste prevention and recovery
Plastic and packaging: Reduction, recyclable and use of How2Recycle® label; SystemIQ workshops

Investments in food waste prevention and recovery
Investments in food waste prevention and recovery
Investments in food waste prevention and recovery
Plastic and packaging: Reduction, recyclable and use of How2Recycle ® label; SystemIQ workshops

Investments in food waste prevention and recovery
Plastic and packaging: Reduction, recyclable and use of How2Recycle® label; SystemIQ workshops

Recycled polyester sourcing

Accelerating circularity investment

Ellen MacArthur Foundation Plastics Pact; Walmart Sustainable Packaging Innovation Summit; Walmart Sustainable Packaging Playbook; CGF’s Food and Plastic Waste Coalitions; Champions 12.3; WRI’s 10x20x30

Closed Loop Fund and The Recycling Partnership recycling investments; University of Georgia recycling research; TRP/PlasticIQ; Investments in recycling infrastructure, materials innovation and consumer behavior
Nature
Resilient and controlled environment farming; Pollinator policy (April 2021)

Cornell Pollinators
Founding member of the Midwest Row Corp Collaborative; Preferred cotton sourcing target

Soil Health Institute; TNC; Forum for the Future; Ducks Unlimited
Sustainable Coffee Challenge; Tropical Forest Alliance and CGF engagement; Sourcing policy - e.g. Forests Policy

MapBiomas and Global Forest Watch monitoring tool investments; ISEAL; place-based initiatives; CI - CSL Indonesia; PCI – Brazil; CIFOR
Seafood Task Force; Sourcing policy

Pew and Global Fishing Watch monitoring tool investments; OceanMind; SFP; Place-based initiatives; TNC; Conservation International
Roundtable for Sustainable Beef; Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry; Field to Market

WWF collaboration with Northern Great Plains landowners for grazing management
Certified palm oil; Tropical Forest Alliance and CGF engagement
100% certified recycled pulp and paper
Higg Facility Environmental Module (FEM) adoption; Efforts to reduce discharge of priority chemicals from textile manufacturing process; Certified/ preferred cotton sourcing; Recycled polyester sourcing
CGF Forest Positive Coalition; Business for Nature; Soy Moratorium; One Planet Business for Biodiversity
Worker dignity
Ethical charter implementation

Capacity building investments for increasing demand for responsible recruitment; strengthening policy and regulation; increased transparency and actionable data; worker/community voice: Stronger Together; EFI; CIERTO; Wilson Institute; Polaris; CIW

Seafood Task Force (STF) engagement and scaling STF tools such as Code of Conduct, Guidance on Responsibility for Recruitment-Related Costs and Vessel Auditable Standards; Issara Institute collaboration

Capacity building investments for increasing demand for responsible recruitment; strengthening policy and regulation; increased transparency and actionable data; worker/community voice: IJM; Issara; Global Fishing Watch; OceanMind; Conservation International; FishChoice

Worker safety standards; Nirapon in Bangladesh and LABS in Vietnam and India; Certified/perferred cotton sourcing
Human Rights Statement; Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment; CGF’s Human Rights Coalition

Responsible recruitment and worker voice investments; Truckers Against Trafficking 
Inclusive economic opportunity
Grow direct farm sourcing, including smallholders in Mexico, India and Central America

Launch of the Farmer Producer Organization Center of Excellence in India
Smallholder capacity building to reach certifications, diversify farm incomes and encourage climate-smart practices
Fishery Improvement Projects (FIP) sourcing
Diverse sourcing
Diverse sourcing
Diverse sourcing; U.S. Open Call manufacturing $350B commitment; India $10B sourcing commitment

Women-led farmer producer organizations and Empower@Work Collaborative; gender equity investments WEConnect
Safer, healthier products
Seed innovation; Blockchain pilots to promote food safety and reduce food waste
Supplier engagement on antibiotic stewardship
Supplier engagement on antibiotics
Great for You icon to highlight healthier options
Sustainable Chemistry initiative
Third-party supplier certification for sustainable chemistry (e.g., STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® and MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX®)
Global food safety policy; GFSI Standards

China Food Safety Collaboration Center Product Safety Program technology investments; education & innovation investments: MIT; UofA; Cornell

Challenges

  • Social and environmental challenges in supply chains are complex and are often the result of systemic issues including deeply entrenched economic practices and inconsistent government regulation and enforcement across countries in which products are made. These factors make it challenging for any single organization to have an impact.
  • Walmart’s sustainable supply chain aspirations are dependent on the maturity, rigor and efficacy of third-party standards and initiatives, which requires a critical mass of suppliers and retailers to align on common standards and best practices. For certain practices, there currently is no universal set of standards for responsible or sustainable production and/or certification beyond compliance with the law (e.g., responsible recruitment, wage/hour). Furthermore, there are limits to the efficacy of tools used to monitor compliance with expectations.
  • The success of sustainable product programs is dependent on suppliers’ capacity and willingness to meet high standards, as well as their performance and ability to scale practices across their supply chains. Innovation in manufacturing, agriculture and other product production technologies is necessary.
  • Social and environmental issues in supply chains are often upstream and challenging to reach with traditional retailer oversight and monitoring tools. Lack of reliable data on 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 matters. The use of technology improving transparency and traceability (e.g., blockchain, vessel monitoring) 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 nature-related risk identification and mitigation. Moreover, certain products can only be obtained from specific regions of the world, limiting options for alternative sources.
  • Walmart’s ability to scale more sustainable 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 and/or changes in our business can challenge our ability to meet customer demands consistent with our aspirations.
  • The public policy environment in certain countries/regions does not support (and may undermine) more sustainable production at scale and at reasonable cost.
  • Pandemics, weather-related events and political/social unrest can create supply/demand volatility and interrupt supply chains.

Additional resources