Walmart Inc.

RATING

SECTOR

Retail

WEBSITE

CONTACT

702 S.W. 8th Street Bentonville, Arkansas 72716 USA

STOCK EXCHANGE

LISTING

  • Walmart Sustainability Index – The Sustainability Consortium
  • CDP A- Rating

EMPLOYEES

2,200,000

CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER

Kathleen McLaughlin

AWARDS

N/A

CONTENT SOURCE

FURTHER READING

Report created by Kavita Kripalani

Walmart Inc.

SECTIONS :  Sustainability    Evaluation  •  Progress  •  Watch  •  Overview

Company Activity

Walmart Inc. is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Walmart Inc. engages in retail and wholesale business. It operates through the following business segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam’s Club.

  • The Walmart U.S. segment includes retail store and digital retail operations in the U.S. It also offers financial services and related products such as money orders, prepaid cards, wire transfers, check cashing, and bill payment.
  • The Walmart International segment is categorized into retail, wholesale, and other formats operations outside the U.S. These categories include super centers, supermarkets, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs, Sam’s Clubs, cash and carry, home improvement, specialty electronics, apparel store, drug stores, convenience stores, and digital retail.
  • The Sam’s Club segment comprises membership-only warehouse clubs and samsclubs.com. It offers specialty services, auto buying, pharmacy, optical, hearing aid centers, tire and battery centers, and business operations support services.

Company Sustainability Activity

Walmart and Sam’s Club U.S. suppliers have improved their Sustainability Index scores by 28% compared to 2016. As of the end of FY2019, the company achieved a supplier participation rate in the Sustainability Index that covers 80% of the goods sold in U.S. Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations for categories where the Sustainability Index is available. 6.1% reduction in Scopes 1 and 2 annual greenhouse gas emissions in 2017 compared with 2015. 78% of waste diverted from landfills and incineration. An estimated 28% of electricity from renewable sources.

Highlights

  • First retailer to announce a science based target to reduce greenhouse gases in alignment with the Paris Agreement. 
  • A- on 2018 CDP climate change disclosure. Carbon intensity (Scopes 1 and 2 per revenue): 37.3 metric tons (MT) CO2 e/$1 million in FY2018, a decrease of 7.2% from FY2017. 
  • Electric vehicle chargers available at 110 retail locations across 29 states. Under Project Gigaton, Walmart aims to work with suppliers to avoid 1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases from the global value chain by 2030 (Scope 3). To date, more than 1,000 suppliers have formally signed on to Project Gigaton. 
  • In 2018 alone, more than 380 suppliers reported avoided CO2 e emissions totaling 58,904,206 MT. In the first two years of Project Gigaton, suppliers reported avoided CO2 e emissions totaling 93,656,639 MT. 
  • Walmart had a hand in creating the Sustainability Consortium, a collaboration of retailers, suppliers, universities, environmental groups and others to create a data-driven index of sustainability.

Targets

ENVIORNMENTAL

Climate Change

  • Achieve an 18% emissions reduction in operations by 2025, compared to a 2015 baseline. 
  • By 2030, work with suppliers to reduce or avoid carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 e) emissions from Scope 3 by 1 gigaton from global value chains. 
  • Be powered by 50% renewable sources by 2025. 
  • In FY2017, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation pledged $25 million in cash and in-kind donations to support disaster preparedness and relief through 2020.

Supply Chain

  • More sustainably source 20 key commodities by 2025.

Waste

  • Achieve zero waste to landfill from our own operations in key markets, including the U.S., U.K., Japan and Canada by 2025 in accordance with the Zero Waste International Alliance guidelines.
  • Achieve 100% recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable packaging in all Walmart private-brand products by 2025. 
  • Target at least 20% post-consumer recycled content in private-brand packaging by 2025.
  • Label 100% of food and consumable private-brand packaging with the How2Recycle® label by 2022.
  • Eliminate the non-recyclable packaging material PVC in general merchandise packaging by 2020

SOCIAL

Retail Opportunity

  • By 2025, Walmart U.S. will put millions of associates through focused training programs to equip them with skills to improve career growth, from entry-level positions to jobs with more responsibility and higher pay. Training programs include Pathways and Walmart Academy.
  • $100 million philanthropic commitment from the Walmart Foundation and Walmart to make it easier for frontline employees in the retail and adjacent sectors to gain new skills and advance in their careers.
  • 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.

Responsible Supply Chain

  • By the end of 2026, Walmart wants responsible recruitment to be the standard business practice for employers throughout the global supply chain

Inclusive Sourcing

  • $250 billion in products supporting American jobs between 2013-2023

Providing Safer and Healthier Food and Other Products 

  • Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed to invest $25 million in projects to advance food safety in China over five years. 
  • Walmart and the Walmart Foundation set a goal to provide nutrition education to 4 million people by 2020. Between 2014 and 2019, provide 4 billion meals to those who need them through grants from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation and food donations from Walmart stores, Sam’s Club locations and distribution centers. 
  • By 2022, they aim to reduce the chemical footprint in personal care, beauty, baby, pet and household cleaning categories in U.S. stores by 10%.

Progress

ENVIRONMENTAL

Climate Change

  • As of 2017, Walmart had reduced emissions by 6.1% compared with 2015 levels.
  • Renewable sources supplied an estimated 28% of Walmart’s electricity needs globally this includes generation from more than 520 projects across eight countries U.S. states and Puerto Rico. 
  • In 2017, they launched Project Gigaton which engages suppliers in setting targets and pursuing initiatives to avoid emissions in any of six areas where there are opportunities to do so: energy use, sustainable agriculture, waste, deforestation, packaging and product use. 
  • In 2018 alone, 382 suppliers reported avoiding 58,904,20617 MT of emissions, totaling 93,656,63918 MT toward the 1 gigaton target in the first two years of the program.

Waste

  • In 2018, Walmart diverted 78% of their unsold products, packaging and other materials from landfill and incineration globally.
  • Globally, they diverted more than 1.6 billion pounds of food waste from landfills
  • Walmart recycled more than 430 million pounds of plastic film and rigid plastics globally

SOCIAL

Retail Opportunity

  • Walmart achieved their goal of having a $100 million philanthropic commitment from the Walmart Foundation and Walmart to make it easier for frontline employees in the retail and adjacent sectors to gain new skills and advance in their careers.
  • They reduced their Walmart U.S. store associate turnover by 10% or 1000 bps, the lowest level in five years.
  • More than 800,000 employees trained in Walmart Academies as of March 2019 since the 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

Providing Safer and Healthier Food and Other Products 

  • 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, Walmart conducted more than 140,000 independent food safety audits at our stores and clubs globally
  • In September 2018, Walmart U.S. required their 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 withdrawal.
  • Walmart was the first U.S. retailer to announce a time-bound chemical footprint reduction goal 
  • Through their Wellness events, which take place four times per year, Walmart has provided ~3.3 million free health screenings to people across the U.S.

Certificates

Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG Compliance

The following section aligns current company-wide sustainability initiatives with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

SDG 2

2.1)   BY 2030, END HUNGER AND ENSURE ACCESS BY ALL PEOPLE, IN PARTICULAR THE POOR AND PEOPLE IN VULNERABLE SITUATIONS INCLUDING INFANTS, TO SAFE, NUTRITIOUS AND SUFFICIENT FOOD ALL YEAR ROUND

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have made substantial investments designed to improve access to and availability of healthier food and increase people’s confidence to select, prepare and serve healthier food. Through Walmart’s food donations and additional philanthropic investments from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation, the company met the goal they set in 2014 to provide 4 billion meals to people in need by 2020, largely through the donation of unsold food. In November 2018, funding was put in place to reach 4 million people with nutrition education. In 2019, Walmart stores, clubs and distribution centers in the U.S. donated more than 640 million pounds of food, over 55% of which was fruits, vegetables and meat. Globally, Walmart donated a total of 720 million pounds of food in 2019.

2.3)   BY 2030, DOUBLE THE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY AND INCOMES OF SMALL-SCALE FOOD PRODUCERS, IN PARTICULAR WOMEN, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, FAMILY FARMERS, PASTORALISTS AND FISHERS, INCLUDING THROUGH SECURE AND EQUAL ACCESS TO LAND, OTHER PRODUCTIVE RESOURCES AND INPUTS, KNOWLEDGE, FINANCIAL SERVICES, MARKETS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR VALUE ADDITION AND NON-FARM EMPLOYMENT

Between 2011 and 2017, Walmart Foundation funded training for 1.2 million farmers and farm workers in 15 countries. Women farmers made up more than half of those trained, with more than 600,000 benefitting directly(also see Target 5.5). Additionally, Walmart and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropic (ICRISAT) launched ICRISAT’s program in Andhra Pradesh focused on two key national priorities: doubling farmers’ incomes and addressing malnutrition in rural areas. This two year program (2018 – 2020) will impact 6,100 smallholder farmers, 2,000 of whom are women. The Walmart Foundation has granted close to US$2 million to the project as part of an ongoing initiative to improve market access for India’s smallholder farmers.

SDG 5

5.5)   ENSURE WOMEN’S FULL AND EFFECTIVE PARTICIPATION AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR LEADERSHIP AT ALL LEVELS OF DECISION-MAKING IN POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, AND PUBLIC LIFE 

Walmart is tackling gender equality, in particular through retail opportunities, responsible supply chains and inclusive sourcing. As part of its goal to put millions of associates through focused training programs to equip them with skills to improve career growth by 2025, 60% of associates trained were women. Moreover, women represent 43% of U.S. management and 32% of officers on Walmart’s Board. Between 2011 and 2017, Walmart Foundation funded training for more than 600,000 women farmers. Finally, Walmart spent $30 billion with women-owned businesses between 2012 and 2019.

SDG 7

7.3)   BY 2030, DOUBLE THE GLOBAL RATE OF IMPROVEMENT IN ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Walmart aspires to reduce their energy consumption by 20 percent per square foot by 2020 compared with the 2010 baseline and work their way toward being powered 100 percent by renewable energy (they are at 26 percent) as well as double the fuel efficiency of our fleet (they’ve improved efficiency by 87.4 percent since 2005).

SDG 8

8.3)   PROMOTE DEVELOPMENT-ORIENTED POLICIES THAT SUPPORT PRODUCTIVE ACTIVITIES, DECENT JOB CREATION, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION, AND ENCOURAGE FORMALIZATION AND GROWTH OF MICRO-, SMALL- AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES, INCLUDING THROUGH ACCESS TO FINANCIAL RESOURCES

In 2013, Walmart launched the platform Empowering Women Together (EWT) to provide opportunities to small businesses with less than $10 million in annual revenue that aim to economically empower women. Since then, the platform has offered 300 distinct products from 28 small businesses from multiple countries, including Nepal, Tanzania and Kenya.

8.4)   IMPROVE PROGRESSIVELY THROUGH 2030 GLOBAL RESOURCE EFFICIENCY IN CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION, AND ENDEAVOR TO DECOUPLE ECONOMIC GROWTH FROM ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE 10-YEAR FRAMEWORK OF PROGRAMMES ON SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION WITH DEVELOPED COUNTRIES TAKING THE LEAD

Walmart encourages suppliers to report through the Sustainability Index, a science-based, third party tool developed by The Sustainability Consortium in collaboration with universities, NGOs and suppliers. The Index includes data from suppliers on key environmental, social and other performance indicators at the category level. The Index reflects responses from more than 1,500 unique suppliers covering 115 categories and departments across Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. Walmart set a goal in 2012 to buy 70% of U.S. goods from suppliers that participate in the Index. That goal was met in 2017, and in 2018, more than 80% of such goods came from participating suppliers. Walmart and Sam’s Club U.S. suppliers have improved their Sustainability Index scores by 28% compared with 2016.

SDG 12

12.5)   BY 2030, SUBSTANTIALLY REDUCE WASTE GENERATION THROUGH PREVENTION, REDUCTION, RECYCLING, AND REUSE

The world generates an average of 3.5 million tons of solid waste per day. According to the World Bank Report, daily waste will climb to 6 million tons per day by 2025, and a staggering 11 million tons by 2100. Millions of tons of materials flow through Walmart facilities each year. They’re finding ways to reduce, reuse, recycle and manage them more efficiently, resulting in significant environmental and business upside. Ten years ago, they set an aspirational goal to create zero waste across global operations. They have achieved 82.4% of waste diversion in the U.S. and 68% internationally.

12.8)   BY 2030, ENSURE THAT PEOPLE EVERYWHERE HAVE THE RELEVANT INFORMATION AND AWARENESS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND LIFESTYLES IN HARMONY WITH NATURE 

Walmart encourages suppliers to report through the Sustainability Index, a science-based, third party tool developed by The Sustainability Consortium in collaboration with universities, NGOs and suppliers. The Index includes data from suppliers on key environmental, social and other performance indicators at the category level. The Index reflects responses from more than 1,500 unique suppliers covering 115 categories and departments across Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S Walmart is making information from the Index available to the public in the Sustainability Leaders shop. On Walmart.com more than 10,000 items made by companies identified as leaders in a category (like televisions or plastic toys) through the Walmart Sustainability Index are marked with a Sustainability Leaders badge.

SDG 14

14.B)   PROVIDE ACCESS FOR SMALL-SCALE ARTISANAL FISHERS TO MARINE RESOURCES AND MARKETS

Walmart’s commitment to sourcing sustainable seafood promotes collaborative efforts that bring together farmers, processors, importers, local governments, NGOs and manufacturers to develop region-specific fishery and aquaculture improvement projects. For example, National Fish & Seafood Inc., a Walmart supplier, has collaborated with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and Global Aquaculture Alliance to make it feasible for small farmers to become certified to globally recognized sustainability standards. Together, they’ve created the Small Farm Aquaculture Improvement Project (AIP), which assists scores of independent farmers in addressing important issues and achieving BAP certification.

14.C)   ENHANCE THE CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE USE OF OCEANS AND THEIR RESOURCES BY IMPLEMENTING INTERNATIONAL LAW AS REFLECTED IN UNCLOS, WHICH PROVIDES THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE USE OF OCEANS AND THEIR RESOURCES, AS RECALLED IN PARAGRAPH 158 OF THE FUTURE WE WANT

Walmart aspires to have 100 percent of its fresh, frozen, farmed and wild seafood in all Walmart U.S., Sam’s Club, Asda, Walmart Canada, Walmart Mexico, and Walmart Central America sourced from fisheries who are third-party certified as sustainable, actively working toward certification or engaged in Fishery Improvement Projects. To date, nearly 100% of seafood products in Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club stores are sourced according to the company’s sustainable seafood policy; 67% of wild seafood is Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) certified; and 99.8% of farmed seafood in Walmart U.S. & Sam’s Club stores are Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) or Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified.

Evaluation

Walmart seems to be engaging in sustainable activity. Both their targets and progress regarding sustainability are clear, however their efforts are minimal. Walmart holds some listings and certificates such as MSC, ASC, LEED, GSSI and BAP. The company is also compliant with a few of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Walmart is the world’s largest company by revenue and can be doing more especially regarding its supply chain and leading the industry in sustainability. Walmart has been rated a C.

Analyst Outlook: Negative

Despite proclaiming to make a big effort towards becoming sustainable, Walmart has a significant problem in their supply chain and treatment of their employees. In addition, Walmart does not use environmentally friendly products. There is no indication that waste from textiles in being reduced or action towards reducing hazardous chemicals.

Key Points

  • No evidence exists that Walmart takes action to reduce or eliminate hazardous chemicals.
  • Walmart imports its final production process from countries with a significant risk of abuse of labor
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