Walmart aims to break the link between consumption and waste as part of the larger global movement towards a more circular economy. We aspire to achieve zero waste in our global operations and to work with suppliers, customers and communities to accelerate the adoption of innovative packaging, products designed for circularity, and recycling initiatives.
Accordingly, our public policy priorities focus on advancing a more circular economy through promotion of extended producer responsibility legislation and plastics pollution cooperation:
- Extended Producer Responsibility: Walmart endorsed the Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) principles on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and participated in CGF’s U.S. EPR coalition with the goal of supporting model EPR at the state and federal level. We also worked with the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) to develop a Retail Viewpoint for upcoming legislative sessions and supported the enactment of Colorado’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation.
- Plastics: The March 2022 meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) marked the start of a multi-year negotiation to launch a binding global treaty to end plastics pollution. This new treaty would seek to control the production of certain plastics, restricting and monitoring the use of dangerous chemicals, and implementing a robust reporting environment to encourage transparency around plastic waste. At Climate Week NYC in September 2022, The Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) launched the Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty to advocate for an ambitious plastics treaty. Walmart endorsed the vision and supported this coalition during the first negotiation meeting of the Global Plastics Treaty (INC1). The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has also launched a new working group on the Plastics Treaty, of which Walmart is the chair.
Read More: Bag Better
11. Workforce Development
Walmart supports workforce training and education policy efforts and actively engages in business collaboratives such as the Business Roundtable’s Multiple Pathways Initiatives and the Markle Foundation's Rework America Alliance that are focused on building stronger career pathways for workers using skills as the currency for mobility.
Engagement in the Political Process
Walmart supports our associates’ engagement in the political process, including by facilitating voting and providing opportunities to contribute to WALPAC, which supports the election of lawmakers who can help advance policy priorities critical to the interests of our customers, associates, suppliers, communities, and shareholders.
Associate Participation in the Electoral Process
Walmart joined and continues to support the efforts of Time to Vote, a business-led, non-partisan coalition aiming to increase voter participation in U.S. elections. We have encouraged our associates to vote, including by offering non-partisan voting resources and providing paid time off to vote, if needed. At appropriate times in the electoral cycle, including during the 2022 U.S. midterm elections, we provide digital communication directing customers and associates to resources—including information on requesting an absentee ballot, voter registration deadlines, and polling locations—that will help them stay informed and participate in elections.
Read More: Every Vote Counts
In the United States, campaign finance laws at the federal level and in many states govern the use of corporate funds in the election process. WALPAC is funded solely with voluntary contributions from eligible associates and provides associates an opportunity to join together and participate in the political process.
WALPAC Contributions: Through WALPAC, associate contributions help elect lawmakers on both sides of the aisle—at the federal level and in certain states—to enable support of Walmart’s policy priorities and to strengthen relationships. In the 2021-2022 election cycle, WALPAC’s federal donations were nearly evenly split, with 52% going to Republicans and 48% going to Democrats. WALPAC also made contributions to state-level candidates and committees in 22 states and the District of Columbia in 2022 (where it is permissible to use federal PAC dollars). Contributions to state and federal candidates and committees are made considering a wide range of criteria such as voting records, leadership positions, committee membership, and legislative activity. WALPAC’s campaign contributions to elected officials are not an endorsement of all their individual beliefs, voting records or comments, and WALPAC may examine candidates’ public statements, social media posts, and other communications when making contribution decisions.
Read More: Walmart and WALPAC Federal Contributions and Donations
WALPAC Governance: WALPAC’s activities are governed by the WALPAC Advisory Board, comprising Walmart Inc. officers and senior management. This Board sets the overall budget each calendar year, and reexamines and adjusts the overall WALPAC strategy at the close of each election cycle (every two years). WALPAC senior management determines how to disburse annual WALPAC funds in alignment with this strategy. In accordance with federal election regulations, a report of WALPAC receipts and contributions is disclosed to the Federal Election Commission on a monthly basis.
Working Through Business Organizations
In addition to direct advocacy and political engagement in areas consistent with our shared value approach, Walmart is also a member of certain trade associations and coalitions that the company believes can assist us in achieving our long-term strategic objectives. These organizations and coalitions allow us to work with other companies on policy issues that impact the retail sector and beyond.
Read More: Trade associations to which Walmart contributed funds of $25,000 or more in 2022
Walmart’s Approach to Engaging Trade Associations
Walmart supports trade associations for many reasons, including development and sharing of best practices, advocacy on behalf of industry interests, promotion of public policy, and/or general support for an association’s mission. Walmart’s engagement model depends on the role the trade association plays in helping Walmart achieve its strategic objectives, and may include varying levels of financial support, involvement on the board and/or with key committees, or targeted financial support for initiatives within a broader organization.
As Walmart transforms its business and trade associations reevaluate their priorities, misalignments between Walmart and the association may occur. Where they do, we directly engage the trade association to help it understand our priorities and positions. We also periodically reevaluate our memberships and engagement models to ensure overall alignment.
Engagement: We communicate our strategic priorities and perspective on matters of public policy where appropriate with our trade associations, policymakers and the public so that our positions are known. For example, we have shared our views on climate policy with key trade associations, the public and lawmakers (see above).
Membership and Financial Support Reviews: We periodically review our trade association memberships and determine whether adjustments are needed in our membership status or the financial support we provide to the organization. Where we generally support the organization’s priorities and the positions the organization has taken on major issues, we may maintain general membership in the organization while working to influence the organization’s direction as necessary. For example, we maintain general membership in the Business Roundtable and work to influence the organization as described elsewhere in this brief. In other instances, we may elect only to provide financial support for particular organizational initiatives. For example, we do not pay general membership dues to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce but financially support certain specific U.S. Chamber of Commerce initiatives including the Institute for Legal Reform, Rule of Law Coalition, Workforce Freedom Initiative, and international programs. If a relationship—on balance—does not align with our priorities, we would end ties with the organization altogether.
Below are examples of the larger and more active organizations in which we participate, and the ways in which they help to further our shared value objectives.
Retail Industry and General Business Associations
We are members of business groups that work on issues important to the advancement and growth of the retail sector and business at large, including:
Business Roundtable: Business Roundtable promotes the U.S. economy and expanded opportunities for Americans through sound public policies. In 2019, Business Roundtable released its Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, which was signed by 181 CEOs, including Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, who served as Business Roundtable’s chair in 2020-2021. The Statement lays out a modern corporate responsibility standard by which companies operate for the benefit of all stakeholders, including customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders. We work with Business Roundtable on workforce training and education policy efforts via their Multiple Pathways Initiatives. We have endorsed Business Roundtable’s call for a U.S. national climate policy solution to reduce U.S.-based emissions by at least 80% by 2050 through a market-based mechanism that includes a price on carbon. Walmart worked with Business Roundtable on its statement expressing support for the climate provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act and to craft a global statement on climate action that was endorsed by business groups in Canada, Mexico, the European Union and Australia. We also worked with Business Roundtable to reduce consumer impacts stemming from unilateral Chinese import tariffs.
Consumer Goods Forum (CGF): Comprising more than 400 retailers, manufacturers and service providers, CGF addresses key social and environmental challenges facing the industry, including forced labor, deforestation, health and wellness, food safety, food waste, plastic waste data transparency. Walmart is a CGF member and Walmart CEO Doug McMillon serves on its Board of Directors. Walmart is a member of the Forest Positive Coalition and the Tropical Forest Alliance collective action forum. Walmart also participates in the Coalition of Action on Plastic Waste which has released guidance on policy design principles to address problematic plastic packaging and principles for the optimal design of extended producer responsibility programs for managing plastic and packaging waste.
National Retail Federation (NRF): Representing large and small retailers with a variety of business models, NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association. In January 2022, Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner was elected chairman of the board of NRF. NRF works with the retail industry across a broad range of policy areas including taxes, workforce, and sustainability. In 2022, Walmart helped develop (alongside the NRF Sustainability Council — of which we are a member) "Retailers Reaching for Net-zero," a guide that makes the business case for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, provides a pathway for setting science-based greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and provides an extensive resource list to assist retailers in reaching their own sustainability goals. Walmart is also a participating member of the NRF Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group. The purpose of the group is to create opportunities for members to exchange ideas and best practices on issues that seek to enhance diversity in the retail corporate workplace. We are also members of NRF’s Strategic Supply Chain Council and their International Trade Advisory Committee, where we have advocated for tariff reform, extension of trade preference programs, and customs modernization.
Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA): The Retail Industry Leaders Association brings together the nation’s leading retailers to advance the industry through public policy advocacy, operational excellence and innovation. In April 2021, RILA released a set of climate priorities that summarized the member perspective and considerations on greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies and categories that closely intersect with industry operations and receive policy attention at the state and federal levels. Walmart provided insights to RILA to help develop this report and supported its release. In February 2022, RILA released its Retail Climate Action Blueprint, which provides guidance applicable to retail organizations’ climate action strategies. Walmart provided feedback on the Blueprint and was quoted in the press release announcing its release. We also work with RILA on trade policy as a member of their International Trade and Customs Committee and worked with them on passage of the INFORM Consumers Act to strengthen marketplace transparency.
International Business Organizations
We are members of coalitions that seek to facilitate commerce across borders, including:
Americas Business Dialogue: Americas Business Dialogue brings together companies from across the Western Hemisphere to develop, disseminate and support the implementation of policy recommendations that contribute to a business environment conducive to sustained economic growth. Walmart co-chairs the Transparency and Regulatory Cooperation Working Group, where we’ve played a leading role in designing and advocating for e-government reforms and building a cross-sector model for the implementation of these reforms.
Business 20 (B20): B20 is the official G20 dialogue forum with the global business community. Walmart co-chairs the B20 Digital Transformation Task Force, which crafts recommendations to the G20 heads of state on how to improve digital-economy inclusion. Walmart also sits on the Inclusive GVCs for Resilient Global Trade and Investment Task Force.
Business at OECD: Recognized as the voice of business at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Business at OECD brings together firms from across the world to build positions on OECD policy initiatives. Walmart is engaged in the Corporate Governance and Responsible Business Policy Group and is a vice chair of the Environment and Energy Policy Group.
Canadian American Business Council (CABC): CABC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, issues-oriented organization dedicated to fostering dialogue between the public and private sectors in the United States and Canada. Walmart is currently represented on the CABC Board of Directors.
International Chamber of Commerce: The International Chamber of Commerce promotes international trade, responsible business conduct and a global approach to economic regulation. Walmart participates in the Trade Dialogues that leverage the voice of the business community at the World Trade Organization and the Commission on Corporate Responsibility and Anti-Corruption. Walmart is a Vice Chair of the Commission on Environment and Energy and Chair of the working group on the Plastics Treaty.
Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation: The Global Alliance is a public-private partnership that works to identify and deliver commercially meaningful reforms to facilitate international trade. Walmart serves on the Alliance’s steering committee.
US-China Business Council (USCBC): USCBC is a nonpartisan, non-profit comprised of over 280 American companies doing business in China. Since 1973, USCBC has worked to expand the US-China commercial relationship to the benefit of its membership and, more broadly, the U.S. economy. Its mission is to eliminate trade and investment barriers and develop a rules-based commercial environment that is predictable and transparent. Walmart’s President and CEO Doug McMillon currently sits on the USCBC Board of Directors.
US-India Business Council (USIBC): USIBC is part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and aims to create an inclusive bilateral trade environment between India and the United States by serving as the voice of industry, linking governments to businesses, and supporting long-term commercial partnerships that will nurture the spirit of entrepreneurship, create jobs, and successfully contribute to the global economy. Walmart International’s President and CEO Judith McKenna currently sits on the USIBC Board of Directors.
World Economic Forum (WEF): Walmart is a member of WEF’s Global Future Council on Trade and Investment, where we advise leaders on the role of trade and investment in creating sustainable, resilient and equitable companies, economies and societies. We are also part of WEF’s Tropical Forest Alliance, and sit on the steering committee for WEF’s Climate Trade Zero initiative.
Sustainability Focused Coalitions
To shape a public policy environment supportive of our climate, nature, and waste aspirations, we engage with several coalitions, including:
Business for Nature (BFN): We are members of BFN, a global coalition that brings together business and conservation organizations to call for governments to adopt policies to reverse nature loss in this decade. Walmart is a participant of the Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) which provides input on direction and focus areas and helps BFN aggregate action across nature, climate, development, and food system agendas.
Clean Energy Buyers Association (CEBA): Walmart currently sits on the board and is a long-time member of CEBA (formerly the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance), a collaboration of clean energy buyers, energy providers and service providers that, together with NGO partners, seek a transition to a zero-carbon energy future. The group advocates for policies such as wholesale energy market expansion, flexible financing for renewables, retail access and a federal carbon-free green grid. We advised and endorsed CEBA’s statement on the Inflation Reduction Act, which emphasized market and policy-based measures to decarbonize the grid.
Midwest Row Crop Collaborative: We are a member of the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative, which develops solutions for removing barriers to widespread adoption of regenerative agricultural practices. The collaboration promotes policies that maintain economic and environmental viability for all in the value chain. The group also endorsed the bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act, which reflects a valuable strategy for increasing carbon sequestration opportunities in the agricultural supply chain. The Act became federal law in December 2022 with the passage of the FY2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation and U.S. Plastics Pact: The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works to build a positive future circular economy. Walmart is a partner on the organization’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. The Pact is a coalition of businesses, government entities, non-governmental organizations, researchers and other stakeholders who work collectively toward a common vision of a circular economy for plastics, including by advocating for policy regimes to enable achieving 100% reusable/recyclable/compostable packaging by 2025.
We Are Still In: We are a signatory to the We Are Still In coalition, which demonstrates our long-standing commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. In line with this, we signed the We Mean Business/Ceres letter that supports a U.S. goal to cut emissions by at least 50% by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Read more: Climate Change and Regeneration of Natural Resources: Forests, Land, Oceans.