Responsible Sourcing Timeline

Multiple pages of a calendar

1992

  • Walmart creates the Ethical Standards Program to establish Standards for Suppliers and Factory Certification Program in Bangladesh and China.

1997

  • Walmart expanded program to include facilities located in Egypt, India, Nicaragua, and Pakistan.

2003

  • Walmart begins “auditing the auditor” to review audit accuracy and creates color-coded system to rate factories based on severity of audit results.

2004

  • Responsible Sourcing establishes a team focused on social responsibility and stakeholder engagement.
  • Walmart trains 7,900 suppliers and members of factory management on the Standards for Suppliers.

2005

  • Walmart implements worker helplines in 45 countries in local languages.

2008

  • Walmart president and CEO Lee Scott announces goals to operate “a supply chain where… workers are paid well and treated well with the respect and dignity they deserve.”

2009

  • Responsible Sourcing launches Supplier Development Program to train suppliers and empower workers.

2010

  • Walmart ranks second in “Toward a Safe, Just Workplace: Apparel Supply Chain Compliance Programs”, a report published by As You Sow, a corporate social responsibility nonprofit organization that monitors ethical sourcing practices by retailers and brands.

2011

  • Walmart launches the Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative focusing on Bangladesh, Central America, China and India.

2013

  • Walmart becomes a founding member of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety.

2014

  • Walmart becomes the first major retailer to join the Fair Foods program through a collaboration with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Florida tomato suppliers.

2015

  • Walmart participates in the Seafood Task Force to help address issues surrounding labor conditions and illegal fishing in Thai seafood supply chains.
  • Walmart implements a risk-based approach to auditing, which allocates more auditing resources to facilities located in higher-risk geographies.
  • Since its launch, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety trains more than 1.1 million factory employees on basic fire safety and offers an anonymous helpline for workers to report concerns.

2016

  • Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon shared Walmart’s goals for 2025 – including our goal to support the dignity of workers in the supply chain. Walmart commits to addressing the potential risks to the dignity of workers in a minimum of 10 retail value chains by 2025.
  • Responsible Sourcing collaborates with the Joint Committee on Responsible Labor Practices to help drive an industry-wide approach to managing risks in produce supply chains.
  • Walmart joins the Issara Institute and the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment.

2017

  • Walmart transitions to audits from third-party audit programs.
  • The Responsible Sourcing Academy launches to provide suppliers and facility management with tools and training opportunities designed to influence continuous and sustainable improvement.
  • Responsible Sourcing provides a series of posters for suppliers to post in their facilities focusing on issues of higher risk to workers, including forced labor and trafficking risks, unsafe working conditions, working hours and wages, intimidation and discrimination.

2018

  • Walmart publishes Human Rights Statement.
  • The United Fresh and Produce Marketing Association’s Joint Committee on Responsible Labor Practices launches the Ethical Charter for Responsible Labor Practices.
  • Walmart ranks sixth of 38 companies in Know the Chain’s 2018 Food and Beverage Benchmark.
  • Walmart receives the highest ranking on women’s issues in Oxfam’s Behind the Barcodes report.
  • Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety completes its five-year commitment; Walmart joins Nirapon to continue fostering a culture of safety in the Bangladesh ready-made garment industry.

2019

  • Responsible Sourcing announces an additional focus area to promote the dignity of women in supply chains.
  • Walmart publishes the Responsible Recruitment Statement of Principles.

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