Walmart Highlights Vision for “Whole Systems” Approach in 2016 Global Responsibility Report

April 20, 2016

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BENTONVILLE, Ark., April 20, 2016 — Walmart today released its ninth annual Global Responsibility Report, entitled “Using Our Strengths to Help Others,” highlighting the company’s progress and milestones during fiscal year 2016 in social and environmental responsibility. The report also outlines Walmart’s “whole systems” approach to continue to advance global responsibility in the key areas of opportunity, sustainability, and local communities.

“When Walmart set out on our sustainability journey 10 years ago, it was in an effort to improve our own operations, but we’ve learned that we can positively impact systems beyond our company,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, Walmart chief sustainability officer and president of the Walmart Foundation. “We’ve celebrated many milestones tracking toward the ambitious goals we laid out in 2005, and most importantly, we have learned that achieving lasting change requires collaboration and collective action among stakeholders and our peers in the business community.”

In addition to discussing progress, key metrics, challenges, and stories, Walmart’s 2016 Global Responsibility Report outlines the company’s approach to using its strengths to support and improve social and environmental systems beyond the company:

  • Aspiring to strengthen whole systems. In collaboration with others, Walmart aspires to reshape and strengthen whole systems to achieve significant and lasting improvement in social, environmental and economic outcomes. For example, enhancing environmental sustainability in retail supply chains means addressing their social and economic dimensions, as well. Walmart has and will continue to place increasing emphasis on social issues such as empowering women and supporting worker safety and dignity.
  • Creating business and societal benefits. Walmart continues to believe that it will make the most impact on social and environmental issues important to the company and stakeholders when initiatives the business undertake create a shared business and social value.
  • Leading through the business. Walmart focuses on integrating its social and environmental priorities into routine business activities, including leadership practices, organizational roles and operational structures. Its work to advance environmental sustainability also shapes the incentives, tools and processes used across supply chains.
  • Using philanthropy to complement business initiatives. When Walmart uses its strengths for good beyond its day-to-day business, its impact can be extended through the philanthropic efforts of the Walmart Foundation. Through both in-kind and cash gifts, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gives over $1 billion annually to projects that create opportunity, enhance sustainability and strengthen community. In FY16, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave grants totaling $39 million in support of the retail opportunity initiative, which aims to increase upward mobility of frontline retail and adjacent sector workers in the U.S. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation also made a $25 million commitment to disaster response and preparedness in the wake of the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
  • Prioritizing actions that draw on key capabilities. Walmart focuses on issues where particular strengths as a company have a relative advantage in making a substantive difference. For Walmart, these strengths and capabilities include its 2.3 million associates globally, supplier relationships, buying power in categories like food and apparel, physical assets and capabilities in logistics, marketing, operations and merchandising.
  • Collaborating with others. Walmart recognizes that collaboration with organizations around the world with the knowledge, capabilities and expertise to address priority issues is critical for catalyzing true change across the supply chain. Through Walmart’s ongoing work with the Environmental Defense Fund, the company has successfully met and exceeded its ambitious goal of eliminating 20 million metric tons (MMT) of GHG emissions from its supply chain by eliminating a reported 35.6 MMT since the goal was set forth. Additionally, as part of its participation in the Consumer Goods Forum and effort to achieve zero net deforestation, Walmart achieved its goal to sustainably source 100 percent of its private brand palm oil by the end of 2015, in accordance with the certification standards of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. From making a $25 million commitment to disaster preparedness and convening members of the nonprofit, business and government sectors to discuss new ways to work together to respond to future disasters, to making a $1 million grant to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) to start a three-year pilot to identify new ways to serve veterans, Walmart is constantly striving to lead the retail sector when it comes to driving collective impact to do good.

“Our customers want to buy products that are good for the environment, for their families, and for the people who made them, and we’re pleased to show continued progress through our efforts over the past year,” said McLaughlin. “We strongly believe in using our strengths to do good and that serving our customers and society is one in the same, and we look forward to continuing our journey ahead as we unlock the full potential of our business.”

For more information, read the 2016 Global Responsibility Report and visit the Walmart Today blog for updates. 

About Walmart

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 260 million customers and members visit our 11,530 stores under 72 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2016 revenue of $482 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com