BENTONVILLE, Ark., April 22, 2015 — Today, Walmart released its eighth annual Global Responsibility Report (GRR). The report outlines Walmart’s extensive social and environmental work over the past year, aimed at creating economic opportunity for associates and others in the retail industry more broadly; enhancing the sustainability of Walmart’s operations and product supply chain; and strengthening communities in the places Walmart operates.
“Every day, Walmart brings affordable products and services to 260 million customers in 27 countries around the world. As the world’s largest retailer, we have committed to use our strengths to help others, by addressing social and environmental issues in collaboration with customers, suppliers, governments, non-profits, and other stakeholders,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and senior vice president of corporate affairs at Walmart. “We believe business exists to serve society. Our commitment to global responsibility goes beyond philanthropy – it is a whole company undertaking that is woven into our day-to-day business activities, creating value for business and society.”
Major accomplishments reported in the 2015 Global Responsibility Report include:
Accelerating job mobility
- Enhancing associate opportunity, diversity and inclusion. Walmart provides hundreds of thousands of people around the world with jobs, competitive compensation and benefits, and upward job mobility. In February 2015, Walmart announced a $1 billion investment in higher wages, job training and scheduling enhancements. Walmart also fosters a diverse and inclusive workplace around the world. For example, women comprise 57 percent of Walmart’s 2.2 million associates; 32 percent of corporate officers (compared with a Fortune 500 average of 15 percent, and retail industry average of 19 percent); and 25 percent of the Walmart board. From 2003 to 2014, representation of women among corporate officers grew from 16 percent to 32 percent, and representation of people of color among corporate officers from 11 percent to 22 percent
- Accelerating frontline retail job mobility. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will help accelerate the mobility of retail and related sector workers from entry-to-middle skills jobs through a $100 million commitment over the next five years. The company will collaborate with and provide grants to organizations working on clarifying retail career paths, improving pre-employment training and increasing the relevance and effectiveness of on-the-job and supplemental training. Initially, these initiatives will support training for more than 50,000 retail and related sector workers, helping 30,000 of them move from entry-to-middle skills jobs. Ultimately, through this commitment, the company aims to accelerate upskilling and job mobility for the sector as a whole, making a difference for the 15 million people working in retail today.
Empowering women worldwide
- Sourcing from and training women: Since the launch of the Women’s Economic Empowerment initiative in 2011, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have made $110 million in grants to support women’s economic empowerment, exceeding the goal of $100 million two years ahead of schedule. In addition, Walmart has sourced $11.24 billion from women-owned businesses since 2011, with a goal of $20 billion through the end of 2016. Also, to date Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have enabled the training of 540,102 women in retail supply chains, well on the way to the company’s goal of 1 million women trained. Specifically, these programs have helped 180,423 women in the U.S. to gain the skills needed for employment; enabled 13,295 women in eight countries to receive retail training; contributed to the training of 297,655 women in agriculture around the world; and provided 48,729 women in factories with training to develop the skills they need to become more active decision-makers in their jobs and in their families. The factory training has been implemented in 82 factories in Bangladesh, China, El Salvador, Honduras and India.
Accelerating reintegration of veterans into civilian life
- Hiring and supporting veterans. Walmart works to accelerate the reintegration of veterans into civilian life. Since Memorial Day 2013, Walmart has hired more than 77,000 veterans, nearly 16,000 as part of its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment. In addition, through a $20 million philanthropic investment, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are collaborating with private and public sector organizations to support veteran reintegration through job placement and assistance with housing, medical issues, and/or other needs.
Developing suppliers and small business
- Continuing progress on supplier and small business development. Walmart fosters the development and diversity of its supplier base. The company has also undertaken efforts in different markets to enhance the development of local manufacturing and suppliers. For example, Walmart has continued to make progress on the company’s U.S. commitment to bring in an additional $250 billion commitment of products that support U.S. jobs. In addition, Sam’s Giving program made a number of grants in the past year to strengthen the microlending sector in the U.S., aiming to expand access to capital for small businesses.
Lowering the environmental footprint of Walmart’s operations
- Advancing toward goal of 100 percent renewable energy. Walmart continues to expand the development of on-site and off-site solar, wind, fuel cells and other technologies, to accelerate progress toward our goal of procuring seven billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy by 2020 – and ultimately being powered 100% by renewable energy. Today, 26 percent of the company’s electricity is supplied by renewable sources and in 2014 the company procured more than 3,000 gigawatt hours (gWh) of Walmart-driven renewable energy globally. Heading into 2015, Walmart had more than 380 renewable energy projects in operation or under development in five countries and 17 U.S. states. When President Barack Obama announced his strategy for the U.S. to generate more clean energy from Walmart’s Mountain View, Calif. store in May 2014, Walmart supported the plan by committing to doubling the number of on-site solar energy projects at U.S. stores, Sam’s Clubs and distribution centers by 2020, compared to the 2013 baseline – which is more than 480 sites by 2020. In the U.K., the company added sales floor LED lighting and Voltage Optimization, in addition to migrating to a new energy monitoring system that provides daily energy alarms, analytical capabilities and reporting.
- Reducing waste across global operations. Each day, Walmart moves closer to realizing its goal of creating zero waste by providing innovative solutions to improve waste data management and reduce and divert food and materials from turning into waste. Walmart U.S. operations operational waste diversion improved to 82.4 percent in 2014. Walmart International achieved an estimated 68 percent diversion across stores, clubs, distribution centers and other facilities. In emerging markets (Argentina, Brazil, Central America, Chile, Mexico), Walmart reduced food throwaway by 11 percent - with Central America and Mexico leading the way.
Increasing sustainability of products and product supply chains
- Sourcing responsibly. Walmart is committed to selling products that comply with safety laws and regulations, giving customers trust in the items the company sells. In 2014, Walmart expanded the ability to identify and monitor supplier and product compliance and to hold suppliers accountable for adhering to our standards. Walmart also expects suppliers and factory management to provide the men and women who work to produce the products customers love with a safe and healthy work environment For example, the company worked to strengthen requirements for suppliers subject to audits to designate employees who are responsible for factory compliance with applicable laws and standards. Walmart also developed an auditing approach that allocates more resources to higher-risk facilities based on their geography.
- On track to eliminate 20 million metric tons of GHG emissions from Walmart’s global supply chain by the end of 2015. By collaborating with the Environmental Defense Fund, Walmart has worked on projects that have reduced more than 17.4 metric tons (MMT) of GHG emissions from the company’s supply chain by the end of 2014.
- Committing to help develop a more sustainable food system. Walmart is committed to improve its largest product category and help feed a growing planet by enhancing the sustainability of the food system. Working collaboratively with its suppliers, the company announced four key pillars tied to this commitment in October 2014: improving the affordability of food for both customers and the environment, increasing food access, making healthier eating easier, and improving the safety and transparency of the food chain. Walmart launched its Climate Smart Agriculture Platform, which aims to drive improvements in agricultural productivity through efficient use of fertilizer and water. As of the end of 2014, Walmart established joint agricultural partnerships with 17 suppliers, cooperatives and service providers on 23 million acres of land, with the potential to reduce 11 million metric tons to GHG by 2020.
- Fighting hunger across the U.S. A sustainable food system is accessible. In 2014, Walmart delivered a year early on a 2010 commitment to contribute $2 billion to fight hunger. As part of that commitment, Walmart donated 1.1 billion meals to those in need, and helped Feeding America grow its capacity to rescue and distribute more perishable food across the U.S. in a sustainable, cost-effective way. In addition, between 2012 and the end of 2014, Walmart opened 375 stores serving food deserts across the U.S., exceeding another goal one year ahead of schedule. Walmart has committed to a new goal to provide four billion meals between 2015 and 2020.
- Launching Sustainability Leaders shop. In February 2015, Walmart unveiled its Sustainability Leaders Shop on Walmart.com. The shop enables customers to see which brands and suppliers are leading in product categories in efforts to improve sustainability based on their Walmart Sustainability Index scores. The Sustainability Leaders badge does not make any representations about the environmental or social impact of an individual product. It means that a manufacturer is an industry leader in sustainability efforts in a product category.
Strengthening disaster response and community preparedness
- Increasing disaster relief and preparedness efforts. Since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, Walmart has collaborated with and increased support to nonprofits, government agencies, and first responders to track potential disasters and provide resources in order to help support the most effective response possible. Over the past 10 years, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have provided more than $40 million in cash in addition to in-kind support in response to events such as typhoons in Mexico and the Philippines, tsunamis in Asia, floods in the U.K. and Canada, tornadoes in the U.S., Africa’s Ebola epidemic and many other tragedies. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation also invested $7.2 million over the past 10 years to build community resiliency.
Furthering causes important to local communities
- Supporting local causes. Walmart works to strengthen the 10,000 neighborhoods it serves by supporting local causes. For example, in 2014, Walmart U.S. and Puerto Rico facilities awarded $47 million in grants to local community organizations. In addition, the Walmart Foundation awarded $37 million in U.S. states to organizations supporting hunger, workforce development, veterans and many other causes. Also, Walmart’s international business units contributed $34 million in cash and $36 million in kind within their markets last year.
- Encouraging associate philanthropy. Walmart also encourages associates to contribute time and money to causes they care about most. In 2014, associates volunteered more than 1.5 million hours in their local communities, and Walmart contributed $14 million to the causes they support through the company’s Volunteerism Always Pays program.
FYE15 giving total
During fiscal year 2015, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $1.47 billion in cash and in-kind contributions to further its commitments to opportunity, sustainability and community. For more information, read the annual Global Responsibility Report and visit The Walmart Blog for updates.