- Social Highlights
- Our Social Goals
- Human Rights
- Retail Opportunity
- Responsible Supply Chains
- Inclusive Sourcing
- Providing Safer, Healthier Food & Other Products
As Sam Walton created the company that has developed into the Walmart we know today, he wanted to provide customers access to affordable products, so they could save money to live better. He talked about wanting to “take care of our associates” and support the vision customers hold for their communities. While Sam used his own words, a respect for human rights corresponds with core values he instilled in our company.
Walmart's four core values
Service to the customer
Respect for the individual
Strive for excellence
Act with integrity
Human rights statement
For many years, our perspectives and initiatives that underscore our respect for human rights were described across a number of statements (for example, Supplier Code of Conduct) and documents (for example, Ethics and Compliance report). In November 2018, we published Walmart’s first Human Rights Statement, which consolidates our perspectives in one place.
As part of our work to develop our Human Rights Statement, we convened a cross-functional Steering Committee as well as a Working Group who:
- Reviewed a variety of international instruments including, but not limited to, the United Nations (U.N.) Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labor Organization’s 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
- Reviewed stakeholder feedback from research and consultations
- Obtained and incorporated feedback from human rights subject matter experts
- Considered analysis of Walmart conducted by a number of third-parties, including Shift, Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, Know the Chain and Oxfam
- Reviewed the work of other companies, both those in our peer industry group and those that are considered leaders in human rights, to understand and compare their approach to ours
Our Human Rights Statement confirms our respect for human rights and articulates how our four values inform our approach to human rights throughout our corporate activities, with a focus on our associates, customers, supply chain and the communities in which we operate.
The statement was approved by the company’s Board of Directors in 2018. We have shared it with associates via team meetings, presentations, social media and other outreach. After publication of this report, we expect to expand our communication efforts with our associates and suppliers.
Human rights: governance and implementation
In 2018, we launched a cross-functional Human Rights Steering Committee, comprised of Walmart leaders from Global Responsibility, Ethics & Compliance, Human Resources, Labor Relations, Responsible Sourcing, Culture, Diversity & Inclusion, Government Affairs, Communications and Legal. This group oversees and guides our human rights approach at an enterprise level, which includes identifying our priority issues across the enterprise. In addition, this group provides a cross-functional perspective on the company’s approach to ongoing implementation of our Human Rights Statement, such as through policies and procedures, and offers guidance and counsel to relevant stakeholders as part of that process.
The Steering Committee is supported by a Human Rights Working Group, which meets regularly and consists of members from each department as noted above. Last year, the Steering Committee and Working Group focused on:
- Developing our Human Rights Statement
- Mapping the various policies and procedures we have in place to help mitigate potential human rights issues
- Consulting a variety of human rights subject matter experts for their insights
- Identifying our salient human rights issues We have identified several steps to continue advancing our work on human rights at Walmart, including:
- Assess potential adverse human rights impacts and the relevant processes in place • Integrate relevant findings into policies and procedures
- Track progress as part of Walmart’s efforts to continuously improve
- Communicate with relevant internal and external stakeholders for insight on our progress and priorities
- Adjust our human rights priorities as needed
We value and routinely engage external stakeholders for their perspectives on human rights.
For example, as we developed our human rights statement, we spoke with subject matter experts from BSR, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, Institute for Human Rights and Business, NYU Stern Center for Business & Human Rights and Shift. We also engaged others through dialogue (e.g., Issara Institute and International Justice Mission through efforts combatting forced labor) and forums (e.g., U.N. Business and Human Rights Conference, Concordia and Consumer Goods Forum).
Salient human rights issues
To identify and prioritize our salient human rights, we reviewed issues and approaches described in several instruments, such as the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as pertinent industry business disclosures. We then considered:
• Relevance to our company purpose
• Key categories and markets
• The potential scale of the human rights issue
• Walmart’s ability to make a difference
Based upon our analysis, we have prioritized four salient human rights issues associated with our activities, each of which encompasses several aspects. This report provides more detail regarding our aspirations and initiatives.
SALIENT HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES
Treating workers with respect
Promoting a safe & healthy work environment
Providing a fair & inclusive work environment
Combating forced & underage labor
Walmart employs several grievance mechanisms to solicit, assess and address the concerns of associates, customers, workers in the supply chain, people in communities where we operate and other stakeholders: anonymous hotlines; email and websites; direct engagement in small groups and surveys; a process we call “Open Door;” sentiment and content analysis of public social media postings; and assessment of facility audits.
We triage inquiries and allegations received through these channels, routing them to the appropriate teams for further consideration or action. In some cases, we open a formal investigation, using internal investigators or a third party, depending on the nature of the allegation. We work to see that concerns are appropriately addressed in a timely manner.
We also monitor the number and types of inquiries and allegations received through these and other channels. This information helps us to understand where we may need to strengthen policies or procedures.
We encourage stakeholders to raise concerns and to report activities they suspect may contravene the values and positions we express in our policies and statements. We will not retaliate against any party for raising concerns in good faith.
For additional information about the mechanisms we have in place to hear concerns, please visit the following sections of this report:
We are also mindful that human rights abuses can be the result of systemic issues, increasing the complexity of issue resolution. As an example, in 2013, Walmart was a founding member of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, which provided extensive fire-safety training, gave access to a 24-hour, confidential helpline to report safety and other job-related concerns, and supported extensive remediation of factory safety issues. According to the Alliance’s fifth annual report, 90% of high priority remediation items were complete across all factories affiliated with the Alliance and nearly 1.6 million workers have been trained in fire safety. More than 1.5 million workers now have access to the 24-hour confidential helpline. While the Alliance’s commitment ended in 2018, Walmart remains dedicated to worker safety in Bangladesh.
Walmart’s next steps
In this next year, we expect to:
- Continue to broadly communicate our Human Rights Statement with our associates and suppliers as well as customers and the communities in which we operate so that they may be familiar with the concepts and values within it.
- Continue to engage human rights thought leaders and stakeholders to help us advance our initiatives and improve our effectiveness.
- Continue to develop our reporting, as we learn more about what our associates and stakeholders would like to know.
Approximately 2.2 million associates in thousands of communities around the world
The average wage of a full-time, hourly field associate in our Walmart U.S. stores as of March 2019 is $14.2630
Average total compensation and benefits for a full-time, hourly field associate in our Walmart U.S. stores is $19.31 per hour, including wages, bonuses and benefits31
Opened nearly 200 Walmart Academies in the U.S.
More than 800,000 employees trained in Walmart Academies as of March 2019 since program’s inception
More than 850,000 U.S. employees trained in Walmart Pathways since program’s inception
Promoted more than 215,000 people to jobs of greater responsibility and higher pay in Walmart U.S. stores in Fiscal Year 2019
More than 75% of our Walmart U.S. store operation management team members started as hourly employees
Walmart store managers earn an average of $175,000/year in the U.S.
55% of total U.S. workforce is female
43% of U.S. management is female
26% of Information Technology and Engineering workforce is female
44% of associates with revenue-producing responsibility are women33
44% of total U.S. workforce are people of color
33% of U.S. management are people of color
34% of associates with revenue-producing responsibility are people of color34
16% of associates with revenue-producing responsibility are women of color35
One of society’s greatest challenges is helping workers gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the jobs of today and prepare for the jobs of tomorrow.
Today, millions of jobs are left unfilled as employers struggle to find workers with the skills needed to fill open positions. In the coming decades, growth in automation will likely exacerbate the skill development challenge as technology drives rapid change in the types of jobs available for workers and the capabilities they need to fulfill those roles.
The retail sector — as a foundational entry point to work, a place to gain valuable skills and a significant portion of the overall job market — provides a gateway to upward mobility for millions of people and can help address the global need for workforce development. Recognizing this, Walmart is committed to helping make retail a place of opportunity: a launching pad for people to acquire the skills and experience needed to advance in the workforce.
Walmart offers a wide variety of career opportunities, low barriers to entry, competitive wages and benefits, and paths to advancement through onthe- job coaching, training and education. By helping associates acquire the skills they need to advance, we aim to offer a distinctive employee value proposition among retailers.
Retail opportunity at Walmart
Our workforce philosophy is formed around three foundational pillars — access to employment, stability and mobility — designed to lead people from entry to opportunity while forging a model for addressing global workforce development challenges. We’re seeing the results of this approach in the U.S.:
- Turnover in our Walmart U.S. stores is down more than 10% or 1000 bps — the lowest level in five years
- Nearly three out of four associates would refer friends or family to Walmart for employment
- As of year-end FY2019, we promoted more than 215,000 associates to jobs with more responsibility and higher pay in Walmart U.S. stores
- As of FY2019, more than 75% of our store operations management team members began as hourly associates
- On average, a Walmart store manager makes $175,000 per year
Access to employment
Entry-level jobs provide economic opportunity and a pathway to upward mobility for many people. Such pathways are especially critical at a time when, according to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, job opportunities for lower-skilled workers across the U.S. economy have decreased.
Walmart provides jobs for over 1 million people in the U.S. (and over 2 million worldwide). For many of our entry-level hourly positions, we do not require degrees and we have “banned the box” to lower barriers to entering the workforce. And we provide opportunities for associates to learn important and transferable job skills, advance their education, and even gain college credit — all while earning a paycheck.
In addition to providing an entry to employment, we strive to help associates maintain job stability so they are encouraged to stay with Walmart and are positioned to grow their skills and knowledge on the job. For example, in the U.S., we aim to do this by providing competitive pay and benefits, enhancing scheduling, and improving job design, leveraging technology to make jobs more rewarding. In a U.S. associate survey from FY2019, 74% shared that they feel they were able to plan or request their schedule far enough in advance to balance their work and personal life. Specific stability initiatives in the U.S. include the following:
- We have raised our starting wages in the U.S. by more than 50% over the past three years.
- 100% of our U.S. associates earn above the federal minimum wage (which is currently $7.25/hour); newly hired associates start at $11 per hour or more, while key department manager roles can earn as much as $24.70 per hour.
- The average wage of a full-time, hourly field associate in our Walmart U.S. stores as of March 2019, is $14.26 per hour.36
- Average total compensation and benefits for a full-time, hourly field associate in our Walmart U.S stores is $19.31 per hour, including wages, bonuses, and benefits such as paid time off.37
- In FY2019, $793 million in bonuses were delivered to full- and part-time hourly associates in our Walmart U.S. stores.
- Financial planning tools: Using the Even app, our associates can access tools to help them plan for bills and savings goals, eliminating the work of figuring out how much money is okay to spend. When unexpected expenses occur, our associates can access earned wages ahead of scheduled paychecks using an “Instapay” feature. The tools are available to all hourly and salaried Walmart, Sam’s Club and Walmart U.S. eCommerce associates. As of February 2019, 600,000 associates used the Even app.
- Healthcare: Walmart offers health benefits starting at around $26 per pay period for all full- and part-time associates who have worked an average of 30 hours per week over the past 12 months. This is about 40% less than the national average cost for singleperson coverage.Healthcare: Walmart offers health benefits starting at around $26 per pay period for all full- and part-time associates who have worked an average of 30 hours per week over the past 12 months. This is about 40% less than the national average cost for singleperson coverage.
- 401(k): We offer 401(k) contributions and provide full- and part-time hourly U.S. associates a match of up to 6% after one year on the job. Associates are eligible to contribute to their 401(k) on their first day of work.
- Paid time off (PTO): Walmart’s U.S. PTO policy streamlines paid vacation, sick time, personal time and holiday time into one category. In February 2019, we introduced protected PTO, where not required by paid sick leave laws, allowing our associates to earn up to 48 hours of paid time that can be used anytime to cover scheduled shifts when they are unexpectedly not able to make it to work.
- Expanded parental leave, covering U.S. salaried and full‑time hourly associates: Walmart provides associates with parental leave, as well as assistance with adoption expenses.
- Expanded parental leave, covering U.S. salaried and full‑time hourly associates: Walmart provides associates with parental leave, as well as assistance with adoption expenses. Birth moms can receive 16 weeks of total paid time away when maternity and parental are combined (10 weeks of maternity and six weeks of parental leave. These changes create parity for maternity and parental leave benefits among salaried and full‑time hourly associates.
- More than 50% of hourly associates in our Walmart U.S. stores are full-time.
- Predictable scheduling: We recently improved schedule predictability with a new system based on a method called core hours. Associates with core-hour schedules normally work the same weekly shifts for at least 13 weeks, enabling them to plan and prioritize important responsibilities outside of work.
- Flexible scheduling: In November 2018, we rolled out My Walmart Schedule, a system that allows associates to view schedules, swap shifts with other associates and pick up unfilled shifts.
Evolving Job Design
Meeting customer demand for new and better experiences requires changes to jobs, new associate skills, and redesign of store processes and systems.
Even as technology enables efficiencies in some areas, we’re creating new opportunities and training associates to lead in others. We have more than 35,000 people working in our U.S. stores in roles that didn’t exist two years ago. Some of those roles include personal shoppers for Online Grocery Pickup, self-checkout hosts and customer hosts. We’re also providing associates with tools that help them do their jobs such as AI-powered FAST Unloaders that make unloading trucks more efficient, which can enable associates who previously spent large portions of their shifts unloading trucks to learn new skills such as customer service and merchandising.
According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in association with the Markle Foundation, a majority of U.S. workers say that new skills and training are essential to career success. Walmart aims to help workers gain the skills they need to succeed within our company and beyond. For example, in Walmart U.S., we provide on-the-job training and access to affordable, relevant education programs including high school completion, college preparation and subsidized four-year college degrees (with a head start for those who receive college credit for Walmart experience). The rest of this section describes our training and education initiatives.
These opportunities to grow knowledge and skills have enabled our associates to advance. We promoted more than 215,000 people to jobs of greater responsibility and higher pay in Walmart U.S. More than 75% of our Walmart U.S. store operations management team members started as hourly employees, and Walmart store managers earn an average of $175,000/year in the U.S.
Walmart U.S. offers all associates the opportunity to gain critical skills for job advancement, including language training and professional development. We also offer two structured training programs for associates at Walmart U.S. stores: Pathways and The Walmart Academy.
Building foundational skills through Pathways
Our Pathways training program helps associates gain vital retail job skills, including customer service, merchandising, teamwork and communications. The program leverages self-paced, computer-based learning and mentoring from supervisors who provide feedback on associates’ job performance and highlight potential career opportunities. More than 850,000 associates have completed the Pathways program since its inception.
Building advanced skills through Walmart Academy
Walmart Academy offers hands-on, immersive learning, combining technology, classroom training and ongoing coaching on the sales floor. Using cutting-edge handheld devices and virtual reality, the program prepares associates for jobs as frontline hourly supervisors, department managers and assistant managers. Associates are paid for the time spent in training.
In the last three years, Walmart has opened nearly 200 Academies in the U.S., most within an hour’s drive of a Walmart store, and each Academy serves approximately 25 nearby stores. In FY2019 alone, we trained about 450,000 associates through Walmart Academy.
Walmart offers education benefits for General Educational Development (GED) certification, high school completion and college credit through an innovative approach to higher education that focuses on meeting the distinct needs of the adult working learner.
In June 2018, Walmart teamed up with Guild Education to offer associates the opportunity to earn their high school diploma at no cost to them and a college degree for $1 per day. That means Walmart will subsidize the cost of higher education, beyond financial aid and an associate contribution equivalent to $1 per day. Available to all U.S. Walmart and Sam’s Club associates, the program offers access to both associate’s and bachelor’s degrees from three university partners, chosen based on their success with adult working learners. Associates can earn their associate’s degree in an area of their choice and a bachelor’s degree in business management and supply chain management. Associates have access to a counselor to help them navigate the application process and stick with the program. More than 1,500 students began classes in Fall 2018 across three university partners.
Employees have taken notice of these opportunities, according to associate engagement surveys that Walmart conducts at least annually. In our most recent FY2019 U.S. associate engagement results, 81% of associates agreed with the statement, “I have the training necessary to perform my job well.” This reflects our increased investment in employee training. We are seeing additional benefits from our investments, as shown by the fact that the majority of our associates also agreed with the statement, “I see a clear path for my career growth at Walmart.” Finally, the survey also confirms that nearly 75% of our associates would refer friends or family to Walmart for employment.
At Walmart, we aim to create a collaborative environment where associates are free to respectfully express their opinions and feel that their concerns are heard. We want associates to share their ideas for making our business better and relay, in confidence when appropriate, any workplace concerns. To that end, we gather and respond to associates’ feedback in a variety of ways, including, for example, in the U.S.:
- Personal, one-on-one interactions
- Team meetings
- Cascaded leadership communications
- Company intranet
- Facebook Workplace and other social media channels
- Traditional digital communications, such as email
Senior operations executives also conduct formal listening tours twice a year with associates across the U.S. Additional annual company gatherings include the Year Beginning Meeting, Holiday Meeting and Shareholders’ Associate Week. Our U.S. CEO also holds quarterly town hall meetings with associates and weekly operations feedback calls with store managers. During these sessions, any action items are assigned to field and home office associates, including officers, who are responsible for addressing each one.
These engagement efforts have led to meaningful improvements in company policies. Through various lines of communication, our U.S. associates asked Walmart to consider changes such as expanding our parental leave, bonuses for work attendance and a PTO‑based time-off system so they would not incur penalties for sick leave. Walmart U.S. responded by implementing these practices.
Walmart’s Open Door process is another resource that allows any associate — from entry level to the C-suite — to share ideas and raise an issue in good faith at any time without fear of reprisal.
Additional information on our Open Door policy, including our stance against retaliation for concerns raised in good faith, as well as guidance for our associates on when and how to use these resources, can be found in our Statement of Ethics.
In addition to the communication avenues described above, employees have access to a variety of confidential resources. To ask a question or report an ethics violation, employees can contact Walmart Global Ethics at www.WalmartEthics.com, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-WM-ETHIC in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada. Our Statement of Ethics outlines resources available globally. Walmart strictly forbids retaliation against any associate who reports a concern in good faith. Reports can be made anonymously and will be treated as confidential. Learn more about how we communicate with associates in the Stakeholder engagement section.
Freedom of association
One of our enduring core values since Sam Walton founded the company is Respect for the Individual. These rights are defined under applicable national law and practice in the countries in which Walmart operates and from which Walmart sources the products we sell.
Globally, Walmart has associates who are represented by some form of collective bargaining in more than half of the 27 markets where we operate. The U.S. model is employee choice.
Our people and culture help make Walmart successful. We are committed to building a diverse workforce that represents the more than approximately 275 million customers who choose to shop with us instore or online every week. A variety of perspectives enriches our culture, leads to innovative solutions for our business and enables us to better meet the needs of a diverse customer base. We aim to develop inclusive leaders and an inclusive culture, while also growing the pipeline of women and people of color at every level. Walmart is a signatory to Catalyst CEO Champions for Change, CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion and Paradigm for Parity.
Walmart’s work to create a more inclusive company has been recognized by indices such as the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, the Disability Equality Index and the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, among others.
A truly inclusive workplace culture is one where all associates feel empowered to bring their authentic selves to work every day.
To foster diversity and inclusion within Walmart, we focus on recruitment, development and retention. We seek to develop equity in representation and an inclusive culture and to confirm our commitment to fair-pay practices.
An important component of fostering inclusion is raising awareness about unconscious bias. We have developed unconscious bias training for associates across the organization. All officers have Inclusive Leadership Expectations as part of their annual performance evaluation. A component of these expectations is abiding by our Statement of Ethics, failure of which may result in an annual cash incentive pay reduction.
For more information, please see our Culture Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) Report.
Using engagement survey feedback, metrics on representation and inclusion indices, we’re measuring our progress and informing future priorities. Introduced in 2016, our CDI scorecard has proven to be a valuable tool, providing a biannual, actionable report that is reviewed by senior management.
Fairness in pay is an important issue for our company. We are committed to creating a performance culture where associates are rewarded based on meaningful factors such as qualifications, experience, performance and the type of work they do.
Our compensation plans and practices are designed to comply with applicable laws that require companies to pay their employees fairly and equitably. In the U.S., for example, relevant laws include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act, both of which require that men and women be given equal pay for equal work. Salary and wage ranges for our associates are based on objective factors, regardless of gender or race. We continually review our processes to make sure we are living up to our commitment to fair-pay practices.
Read more about Diversity & Inclusion programs and data.
Retail opportunity across the sector
Our work to promote economic opportunity extends beyond our company. In 2015, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation launched the Retail Opportunity Initiative, a five-year philanthropic effort to accelerate retail and related sector employee advancement.
Through the end of FY2019, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation had invested more than $100 million in organizations working to accelerate retail and related sector employee advancement. The initiative includes:Generating and sharing insights into retail as a sector of opportunityShowing how the retail sector can offer upward mobility to frontline workersBuilding innovative approaches to training workers and providing opportunities for advancementEngaging employers, training providers and others to share best practices and improve incumbent worker training and advancement in local workforce ecosystems
Learn more about our work under the Retail Opportunity Initiative at Walmart.org.
Policies & Resources
Responsible Supply Chains
Walmart uses a risk-based approach to supply chain monitoring and focuses audits on geographies with greater potential risks
Suppliers have disclosed more than 25,800 facilities in “active” status to Walmart in FY2019
Walmart’s supply chain reaches more than 100,000 suppliers globally. In 1992, we launched our Responsible Sourcing program to establish our expectation that suppliers and their facilities operate responsibly, in a way that protects worker dignity. We set expectations through our Standards for Suppliers and use a riskbased approach to monitoring our supply chain, focusing audits on those geographies with greater potential risks.
We also collaborate with peers and other industry stakeholders to address human rights issues in complex supply chains and to improve the capacity of the global retail sourcing system. Recognizing the need for whole-system transformation, Walmart has committed to use our ability to bring together stakeholders including industries, civil society, governments and international organizations to address the major potential risks to the dignity of workers in a minimum of 10 retail supply chains by 2025.
Given our size and global footprint, Walmart has a unique opportunity to use the power of our purchase orders to improve supply chain conditions. We set high expectations for our suppliers. Members of our Responsible Sourcing team around the world work to assess risk, monitor supply chain conditions through audit assessments and investigations, provide training and tools for suppliers, and collaborate with stakeholders to make progress on key industry-wide issues. The team also acts as a resource for fellow Walmart associates, providing training so that they can better understand and navigate potential human rights risks associated with various geographies and industries. Having our Responsible Sourcing associates embedded in markets around the world allows us to better understand regional challenges in our supply chains and leverage our local presence to build strong connections with local suppliers and markets. As of January 2019, we have more than 150 Responsible Sourcing associates.
Standards for suppliers
We communicate our fundamental expectations to suppliers on social conditions, worker safety and integrity in the workplace through our Standards for Suppliers. Suppliers must agree to the Standards as part of their Supplier Agreement with Walmart. The Standards apply to anyone that supplies product to Walmart for resale, as well as any agents they use. Among other obligations, the Standards require our suppliers, and those who supply to them, to:
- Comply with the law
- Be transparent in their production for Walmart
- Not use involuntary or underage labor
- Maintain a fair process for making employment decisions
- Comply with all applicable laws and agreements regarding compensation and working hours
- Respect the principles of freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
- Provide a safe work environment
We provide tools and resources for suppliers through the Responsible Sourcing Academy, which includes training, best practices, and educational materials developed by third parties and Walmart. More than 4,300 supplier representatives have registered in the Responsible Sourcing Academy.
Through our risk-based monitoring program, we use third-party audits to evaluate supply chain practices against our Standards. After assessing the standards, protocols, governance and integrity of each program, the Responsible Sourcing team approved nine thirdparty audit programs. In addition, we work with the audit programs to make enhancements and share best practices for the benefit of the broader supply chain. To determine where regular audits will be required, we assign countries a classification of their potential social compliance risk level based on the World Bank governance indicators. Facilities in countries that fall into the highest level of risk — which are identified as Category 2 and Category 3 countries — are subject to regular audits. Facilities in Category 1 countries, such as the U.S., are subject to audits on a sample basis.
Walmart reviews each facility audit and assigns a color rating based on the third-party program’s ability to produce product for Walmart evaluation and Walmart’s own assessment of that evaluation. Green ratings represent facilities for which we found general compliance. Yellow ratings identify facilities that audits show to be generally compliant with our Standards but have failed to meet at least one important requirement. In these cases, we ask the facility to remediate noncompliances found in the audit report. Orange ratings identify facilities whose audits indicate more serious violations of the Standards, but from which Walmart will continue to allow sourcing while the violations are remediated. Red ratings identify facilities for which Responsible Sourcing has discovered violations of a nature that may make it appropriate to temporarily or permanently terminate the facility’s ability to produce product for Walmart.
Walmart reviews and assesses each audit report. Of the more than 14,700 third‑party audit reports Walmart reviewed and assessed in FY2019, 23.7% received green, 63.1% received yellow, 10.8% received orange and 0.3% received red. An additional 2.1% of audits were for facilities participating in our small supplier program and, therefore, did not receive a color rating.
In addition, Walmart operates several grievance mechanisms to solicit the concerns of workers in the supply chain. These include:
Global helpline: Walmart provides global and local phone numbers that anyone can use to ask questions and report concerns related to Walmart’s business, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The helpline is equipped to handle most local languages spoken in each of the retail markets where we operate.
Global email address: This email address is available for reporting concerns, asking questions, or simply seeking guidance for situations that may be unclear. All contacts are received by Walmart’s Global Ethics and Compliance team in Bentonville, Arkansas.
WalmartEthics.com: This website is available in 13 languages and accessible globally. It provides a platform where stakeholders can ask questions, read our Statement of Ethics, submit ethical concerns and follow up on previously reported concerns.
Cases resulting from these grievance mechanisms, as well as from audits and internal referrals, can be referred to our Responsible Sourcing Investigations or other compliance teams within Walmart. In FY2019, our Responsible Sourcing team opened more than 600 cases involving allegations of supply chain misconduct. Each case is reviewed and may include worker interviews, on-site visits and follow up with audit programs. Responsible Sourcing may also engage with the supplier directly, which typically includes a discussion regarding the allegations; a clarification of expectations; and the review, approval and follow up with the supplier on a corrective action plan. In FY2019, Walmart used this issue response process for more than 65 cases. Reports of misconduct ranged from issues such as lack of required posters to more serious violations that warranted in-depth scrutiny.
We believe that staying engaged with suppliers through dialogue and corrective plans can have a more positive impact than simply abandoning the supplier relationship — and in FY2019, more than 480 facilities remediated from orange to either yellow or green assessments. However, substantiated findings may result in consequences for suppliers, facilities or both — up to and including termination of business with Walmart and its subsidiaries. Since 2012, we have stopped doing business with more than 30 suppliers in response to serious violations of our Standards.
Learn more about Supplier Standards at our Responsible Sourcing website.
Strengthening capacity of global audit systems
Many of the challenges we seek to address in our global supply chains are not unique to Walmart, and we are collaborating with our peers and key stakeholders to strengthen and standardize expectations for suppliers to drive transformation across supply chains. For instance, to help improve capacity of supply chain audits, Walmart and other stakeholders — including third-party audit firms and other companies who rely on social compliance audits, audit programs and non-governmental organizations (NGO) — established the Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors (APSCA). The APSCA aims to increase the credibility and professionalism of auditors and audit programs across the industry. In 2018, the APSCA developed a Code of Professional Conduct and a Competency Framework for Auditors, and the group began piloting its certification process. As of January 31, 2019, more than 3,200 auditors have registered with the APSCA.
Collaborative efforts to address systemic issues
For certain risks, supply chain monitoring and supplier engagement can only go so far. Long-term social sustainability in complex, global supply chains requires whole-system transformation and collective action of suppliers, NGOs, governments, retailers and others. Walmart has committed to work with others to address potential risks to the dignity of workers in a minimum of 10 retail supply chains by 2025; so far, we have focused on five supply chain initiatives:
- Apparel in Bangladesh
- Produce in the U.S. and Mexico
- Shrimp in Thailand
- Tuna processed in Thailand
- Electronics sourced for the U.S. retail market supply chain
To help prioritize key geographies and supply chains, we analyzed internal data, audit findings and other external resources such as the World Bank global indices and government and media reports. We also considered where Walmart could have the biggest impact and identified collaborators that could help effect change.
In such whole-system, collaborative efforts, Walmart engages through business and philanthropic initiatives that include:
- Clarifying expectations with suppliers
- Investing in research to understand prevalence of human rights violations and track progress toward improvement
- Engaging with governments to advocate for laws, regulations and enforcement
- Collaborating with key stakeholders and thought leaders in task forces and consortia
- Building capacity in critical parts of the system (e.g., responsible recruitment, worker communication tools and monitoring technology)
To gain deeper insight into these chains and the day-to-day experiences of workers, our associates also conduct on-site visits; cross-functional teams from Walmart undertook several such visits in 2018. Such on-site visits not only improve our ability to collaborate on whole-system change initiatives, they also help us improve our merchandising and responsible sourcing practices.
Two human rights issues that we are particularly focused on through our responsible sourcing work and collaborative initiatives are forced labor and worker safety.
Walmart has prioritized working with others to combat forced labor in the global supply chain. Example efforts include:
Responsible recruitment: As a member of the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment, Walmart works to create demand for ethically recruited workers in Thailand and Malaysia and advocate for better government regulation of recruitment agencies.
Seafood Task Force: Since 2015 we have participated in this international, multistakeholder initiative to address forced labor and illegal fishing in the Thai seafood supply chain. The Seafood Task Force has developed supply chain maps, established a system to track products across the supply chain, worked with government and industry stakeholders to improve regulation and codes of conduct, and championed fishery improvement projects. In FY2019, the Task Force Board approved the Vessel Auditable Standards, which extend auditing practices and performance expectations to fishing boats, beyond ports and land-based monitoring. Walmart also participates in the Tuna subgroup.
Immersive field visits: These visits help Walmart teams better understand complex forced labor issues in supply chains such as tuna. For example, a team comprised of Global Sourcing, Responsible Sourcing, Sustainability and Corporate Affairs visited Thailand and the Marshall Islands to explore the canned tuna supply chain. The team visited tuna boats, met workers, interviewed captains, saw processing plants and canning facilities, and observed unloading and loading processes.
The Walmart Foundation also aims to decrease the risk of forced labor through philanthropic investments focused on: (1) strengthening demand for responsible labor and practices; (2) using data and technology to increase transparency; (3) enhancing worker and community voice; and (4) supporting efforts to improve enforcement of existing regulations. For example, in FY2019, the Walmart Foundation provided support to FishWise to develop the Roadmap for Improving Seafood Ethics (RISE), an online platform that details steps companies can take to improve responsible practices in seafood supply chains. By providing tailored recommendations to producers, processors, brands and retailers on how to build, assess and improve social practices — and track progress toward more ethical performance — RISE can help drive advancements in worker dignity in fishing supply chains around the world.
As another example, in 2016, the Walmart Foundation made a grant to International Justice Mission (IJM), building upon funding from other institutions, to help open the IJM Bangkok office to work alongside the Royal Thai Government as it combats human trafficking networks in the Thai fishing industry. Learn more at Walmart.org.
Walmart also supports the nonprofit Truckers Against Trafficking, which trains and encourages transportation professionals to recognize and report suspected human trafficking incidents. In 2015, Walmart conducted a training initiative with its private fleet drivers in the identification and prevention of human trafficking. In FY2020, Walmart plans to incorporate that same training into its newdriver onboarding process.
We expect our suppliers to provide a safe working environment. To address systemic issues affecting worker conditions more broadly, we collaborate with other companies, NGOs and experts. For example, in 2013, Walmart was a founding member of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, which provided extensive fire safety training; gave access to a 24- hour, confidential helpline to report safety and other job-related concerns; and supported remediation of factory safety issues. According to the Alliance’s fifth annual report, 90% of high-priority remediation items were complete across all factories affiliated with the Alliance, and nearly 1.6 million workers have been trained in fire safety. More than 1.5 million workers now have access to the 24-hour confidential helpline. While the Alliance’s commitment ended in 2018, Walmart remains dedicated to worker safety in Bangladesh.
Walmart and Sam’s Clubs sourced more than $11 billion
from diverse suppliers38 in the U.S.
According to data from our suppliers, approximately two-thirds of what we spend to buy products for Walmart U.S. goes toward items that are made, sourced or grown in the U.S.
Nearly $30 billion* spent with
women-owned businesses in the past 7 years
*Totals for merchandising and services combined
We use the power of our purchase order as a development tool in two ways: to promote diverse suppliers and to support small producers in emerging markets.
Our supplier inclusion statement, signed by Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, highlights our belief that a diverse supply chain enables us to deliver better products and a broader selection to the communities we serve.
Walmart does business with more than 2,800 diverse suppliers39 who represent products in Walmart stores and on Walmart.com. In the U.S., Walmart and Sam’s Club sourced more than $11 billion from diverse suppliers in FY2019. Of this, $10.6 billion was for merchandising and $1.2 billion was for other goods and professional services.
We are also a member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable, which celebrates corporations that achieve spending of at least $1 billion with diverse businesses and adhere to the classification and reporting standards established by this organization.
Using the National Minority Supplier Development Council’s and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s standard diverse business ownership definitions as benchmarks, we track diversity in our supply chain under the following diverse classifications: Women, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Native Alaskans, members of the LGBT community, veterans, disabled veterans and other people with disabilities.
For more information on our supplier diversity work, please see our Supplier Inclusion website.
Market access for smallholders in emerging markets
Walmart works to help develop small suppliers in countries around the globe, enabling them to establish their businesses as part of the regional retail supply chain. Beyond Walmart’s supply chain, the Walmart Foundation invests in programs to help enhance livelihoods for produce growers in Mexico, small‑plot farmers in India and small enterprises in South Africa. For example, in India where smallholder farmers represent the backbone of the country’s economy, the Walmart Foundation, working beyond Walmart’s supply chain, made a commitment in 2018 to invest $25 million over the next five years to improve farmer livelihoods. At the same time, Walmart India has committed to source 25% of produce sold in its Cash & Carry stores from India’s smallholder farmers.
When the Walmart Foundation seeks out market access programs to support, we focus our funding on programs that help address women’s inclusion and empowerment. We ask about the design of projects and disaggregating data to understand any disproportionate impacts on program participants.
Investing in American jobs
Our U.S. customers and communities are passionate about supporting American manufacturing. In 2013, we announced our goal of purchasing an additional $250 billion in products that will support American jobs through 2023. According to Boston Consulting Group, this initiative could create 1 million new U.S. jobs, including 250,000 manufacturing jobs directly, and 750,000 support and service sector jobs indirectly. We have achieved 94% of what we had initially estimated for this point and we are making steady progress across categories.
To raise awareness of our initiative and encourage suppliers to identify new product opportunities, Walmart hosted the fifth annual Open Call for new U.S.-made products in June 2018. Entrepreneurs from 46 states participated in more than 500 meetings where they had an opportunity to pitch their products for Walmart stores.
We have also:
- Published the Policy Roadmap to Renew U.S. Manufacturing, outlining what government, manufacturers and retailers can do to create manufacturing areas of opportunity.
- Released a report on the future of work in the U.S. on a county-by-county basis.
- Established the Jobs in U.S. Manufacturing Portal for suppliers to access our knowledge base on the U.S. manufacturing industry.
According to data from our suppliers, approximately two-thirds of what we spend to buy products for Walmart U.S. goes toward items that are made, sourced or grown in the U.S.
Policies & Resources
Providing Safer, Healthier Food & Other Products
Walmart was one of the founders of the Global Food Safety Initiative
More than 4,990 food facilities that provide products to Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs have been certified to one of the Global Food Safety Initiative’s standards
In FY2019, we conducted more than 140,000 independent food safety audits at our stores and clubs globally
In September 2018, Walmart U.S. required our existing fresh leafy green (e.g., romaine lettuce and spinach) suppliers to use blockchain technology for end-to-end traceability to help execute more targeted recalls and withdrawals
Walmart was the first U.S. retailer to announce a time-bound chemical footprint reduction goal
Through our Wellness events, which take place four times per year, Walmart has provided ~3.3 million free health screenings to people across the U.S.
>140,000 independent food safety audits conducted globally
As the world’s largest grocer, we are committed to playing a leading role in upholding food safety laws and regulations applicable to our global businesses, and to providing access to safe, high-quality foods. We helped found the Global Food Safety Initiative, and we are guided by our Food Safety Policy. Our Global Food Safety Compliance team includes food safety professionals who are responsible for overseeing a comprehensive Food Safety program in every market where we operate.
To reduce food-safety-related risk in our supply chain, we require all private-brand suppliers and select categories of national-brand suppliers to achieve certification to one of the Global Food Safety Initiative’s internationally recognized food safety standards, which often exceed applicable regulatory requirements.
Since the initial rollout of this requirement, more than 4,990 food facilities that provide products to Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs have been certified. Studies published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Food Protection have shown that Global Food Safety Initiative certification tends to help suppliers in strengthening their ability to produce safe foods and comply with regulations.
We also strive to improve transparency and the traceability of the products we carry through technology such as blockchain. For example, Walmart China, working with IBM and Jinluo Meat Co., completed a proof‑of‑concept pilot that dramatically reduced the time needed to trace select pork products back to the farm using blockchain. And, in the wake of E. coli outbreaks in 2018, Walmart U.S. asked our existing suppliers of leafy greens (e.g., romaine lettuce and spinach) to use blockchain technology to trace their products back to the farms where they originated.
Through regular independent, third-party food safety audits of our stores and clubs that prepare fresh food, we assess adherence to Walmart food safety standards, processes, conditions and expected behaviors. These risk-based audits help us receive independent assurances that our stores are operating in a safe and legal manner.
In FY2019, we conducted more than 140,000 independent food safety audits at our stores and clubs globally.
In October 2016, Walmart created the Beijing-based Walmart Food Safety Collaboration Center (WFSCC) to bring together local and international research into the root causes and prevention of foodborne illness. The WFSCC, a collaborative effort among industry, government and academia, seeks to identify solutions for improving food safety in China.
For more information on our food-safety‑related initiatives and work in China, please visit www.walmartfoodsafetychina.com.
Healthier food for all
We aim to make healthier food more affordable and more easily accessible. We continue to work toward improving the nutritional quality of our U.S. private-brand products.
To help customers more easily identify more nutritious food options, we worked with regulators and experts to develop the Great for You icon. Products identified with the Great for You icon have met nutrition criteria informed by the latest science and guidance from the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Institute of Medicine. The Great for You initiative has been recognized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as a leading nutrition program. For more information, please visit the Great for You section of our website.
In the past two years, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave nearly $50 million in cash, water, food and other products to support victims of hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes. Additionally, during the same time period, Walmart raised $44 million in donations from customers to support hurricane relief. We also fund the development of technologies that enhance situational awareness and enable coordination among first responders, such as RC View.
Learn more about our Disaster Relief program at Walmart.org.
We are committed to providing our customers and members with access to safe and affordable merchandise. We require our suppliers to meet all applicable laws, regulations and company-specific requirements for all items offered for sale.
These laws and regulations help ensure that products sold to consumers meet design, manufacturing and safety standards to reduce the risk of harm to customers. Our Product Safety Compliance team has implemented product-safety-related processes and procedures, which include:Monitoring laws, regulations, and standardsCreating and communicating product requirementsAssessing supplier and product performanceItem testing, verification, and monitoringManaging incident reports, product removals, and regulatory reporting.
Our U.S. Product Quality and Compliance Manual contains full details on this process. More information on how we manage product safety, including our Product Safety Policy, can be found on our Product Safety website.
Launched in 2013, our Sustainable Chemistry Initiative sets ambitious goals for product formulation and transparency, covering approximately 125,000 personal care, beauty, baby, pet and household cleaning products sold by Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in the U.S.
Our current Sustainable Chemistry Commitment outlines how we are working to incorporate the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry. The commitment asks suppliers to accelerate product reformulation, improve ingredient transparency and certify products using credible accreditations such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice program.
Last year, we became the first U.S. retailer to announce a time-bound chemical footprint reduction goal and set a commitment to report annually to the Chemical Footprint Project. Our consumables chemical footprint is based on Walmart’s Priority Chemical list and includes chemicals such as formaldehyde and phthalates. By 2022, we aim to reduce the chemical footprint in personal care, beauty, baby, pet and household cleaning categories in U.S. stores by 10%. Our baseline for this goal is our calendar year 2017 footprint of approximately 190 million pounds for Walmart U.S. and approximately 30 million pounds for Sam’s Club. We made this baseline public in 2018.
In February 2019, we expanded our sustainable chemistry efforts and encouraged suppliers to lead on sustainable chemistry in apparel, footwear and soft home textile products and leverage third-party certifications that assess and recognize leadership in line with the principles of sustainable chemistry. In 2018, we also announced that we will phase out paint removal products with the chemicals methylene chloride and N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP) from our stores in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central America and www.walmart.com.
Health & wellness
In the U.S., our presence in thousands of communities gives us a unique opportunity to provide access to affordable health care to millions of people. According to a recent survey of U.S. customers conducted by our insights team, cost is the top barrier to healthcare for 43% of Walmart shoppers, followed by convenience (27%) and access (22%). Additionally, 40% of those surveyed have delayed medical care. Since 2017, we have introduced 4,500 in-store health kiosks that have been used by more than 24 million customers — an average of 16 times per day. Through our Wellness events, which take place four times per year, Walmart has provided approximately 3.3 million free health screenings to people across the country. These screenings have helped customers discover underlying issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes that they now can manage.
Our core health and wellness business for Walmart and Sam’s Club currently consists of more than 5,000 retail pharmacies, 3,000 vision centers and 400 hearing centers. Through our Healthcare Begins Here platform we offer customers health insurance education and enrollment services in stores, online and via call centers during annual enrollment periods for Medicare and Affordable Care Act plans.
Opioid abuse and dependence are a serious public health issue that touches our communities, patients and associates. Walmart is committed to taking a leadership role on this issue and has developed a comprehensive opioid stewardship initiative with policies, programs and tools aimed at helping prevent opioid abuse and dependence.
Walmart and Sam’s Club limit the initial opioid prescription for an acute condition (one expected to heal fairly quickly) to 7 days — informed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines. This limit helps reduce the number of pills dispensed, which both reduces the likelihood that the patient will become dependent upon opioids and reduces the volume of opioids that could be diverted for inappropriate uses by someone other than the patient.
Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacists participate in opioid-related training programs and use their knowledge to educate patients on the risks of opioid use and to recommend the overdose medication, naloxone, for patients who may be at risk for overdose. Certain patients can be at risk of overdose even when using an opioid for a legitimate medical purpose. We also invest in drug education programs for youth in our communities. We offer a free, athome opioid disposal product to patients.
These are just a few of the ways Walmart is working to address opioid abuse and misuse, and we are committed to adding new initiatives and partnerships to continue to serve as a corporate leader and partner to our communities. For more information on how Walmart is working to combat the opioid crisis, please see our Opioid Stewardship website.
Walmart gave more than $42 million in local grants in the U.S.
In the U.S. alone, more than 47,000 Walmart associates volunteered over 776,500 hours, generating more than $7.6 million in Walmart donations through our Volunteerism Always Pays program
Walmart’s associates and customers live and work in many communities around the world. We aim to strengthen these communities through our stores, which provide access to affordable food and other products for daily needs; our jobs and advancement opportunities; and by supporting local causes.
With more than 11,300 stores around the world, Walmart associates and customers belong to many communities. Walmart associates engage with customers and local organizations in several ways to understand and support local needs.
In the U.S., for example, before we open a new store, club or distribution center, Walmart meets with stakeholders such as community groups, chambers of commerce, elected officials and local chapters of national organizations to understand the needs of the neighborhood. In some instances, we convene community discussions on opportunities and challenges.
We encourage our store leaders to engage in community life. In addition to charitable giving, our store leaders may host events for community leaders’ networks, serve on the boards of local nonprofits, speak at local events, and belong to community organizations such as chambers of commerce. Walmart offers resources to store leaders to help them listen to and effectively engage with local stakeholders; for example, stores are encouraged to use social media (e.g., Facebook and Instagram).
In the U.S., we empower each Walmart store, Sam's Club and distribution center to strengthen and support its local community through local donations, fundraising and cause-marketing campaigns. In FY2019, our stores and clubs provided more than $42 million in local grants, which are designed to address the unique needs of communities where we operate.
Our associates around the world contribute their time, expertise and money to a range of causes they are passionate about, including Walmart-supported initiatives such as hunger relief and disaster relief. In the U.S. alone, more than 47,000 associates volunteered over 776,500 hours, generating more than $7.6 million in Walmart donations through our Volunteerism Always Pays program. Learn more about how Walmart gives back in communities around the world at Walmart.org.