Walmart Offers New Vision for the Company’s Role in Society
CEO Doug McMillon points to a “new era of trust and transparency” for customers and communities
Beijing, November 7, 2016 – At the 2016 Net Impact Conference in Philadelphia on November 4, Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon will outline a roadmap that will guide the company’s role in society on critical issues over the next several years, pointing to a “new era of trust and transparency.” The roadmap adds fresh detail to Walmart’s sustainability agenda and contains new commitments that reflect a wider recognition of the company’s impact on communities and the planet.
Among other things, Walmart is doubling sales of locally grown produce in the U.S.; expanding and enhancing sustainable sourcing to cover 20 key commodities, including bananas, coffee and tea; and implementing a new plan designed to achieve science-based targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Walmart is the first retailer with an emissions-reduction plan approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative, in alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement in December 2015. Under the approved plan, Walmart will use a combination of energy-efficiency measures, together with a commitment to source half of the company’s energy needs from renewable sources, to achieve an 18 percent emissions reduction in its own operations by 2025. Additionally, Walmart will work with suppliers to reduce emissions by 1 Gigaton by 2030, equivalent to taking more than 211 million passenger vehicles off of U.S. roads and highways for a year.
In his remarks, McMillon will also discuss company programs that will train hundreds of thousands of U.S. associates by the end of next year, providing them with skills needed to move from entry-level positions to jobs with more responsibility and higher pay, along with a new pledge to take a leadership role in promoting ethical recruitment and treatment of workers in the global retail supply chain.
Taken together, the initiatives are designed to make good on the company’s desire to become the most trusted retailer, not just by delivering affordable goods and a time-saving shopping experience, but with trust-building transparency and actions.
“We want to make sure Walmart is a company that our associates and customers are proud of – and that we are always doing right by them and by the communities they live in,” McMillon said. “That’s really what these commitments are about. And that’s why we’re so passionate about them.”
The roadmap builds upon the three environmental sustainability goals Walmart set in 2005: to create zero waste in company operations, to operate with 100 percent renewable energy, and to sell products that sustain natural resources and the environment. Those aspirational goals have guided how Walmart engages on those vital issues and progress has been made toward them. The new roadmap builds on progress to date, but also broadens the company’s vision of its role in society.
The commitments shared today include:
• Power half of the company’s energy from renewable sources under a plan designed to achieve science-based emissions targets: Walmart is one of the largest private-sector investors in renewable energy, including solar and wind power. In 2015, 25 percent of Walmart’s operations were powered by renewable energy, a significant step towards the 2005 goal. Going forward, the company will source half of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2025, as part of a plan designed to achieve science-based targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Walmart is the first retailer with an emissions-reduction plan approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative, in alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement. Under the recently approved plan, Walmart will use a combination of energy-efficiency measures, together with expanded use of renewable energy, to reduce emissions in its own operations by 18 percent by 2025. Additionally, Walmart will work with suppliers to reduce emissions by 1 Gigaton by 2030, equivalent to taking more than 211 million passenger vehicles off of U.S. roads and highways for a year.
• Achieve zero waste to landfill in key markets by 2025: Progress so far has been significant on the original goal. In 2015, 75 percent of Walmart’s global waste was diverted from landfills, helping to reduce costs to the business, customers and society. Under the roadmap, the company will achieve zero waste to landfill from our own operations in key markets, including the U.S., U.K., Japan, and Canada by 2025. The commitment is designed to meet or exceed EPA zero waste guidelines. Walmart will also continue working to reduce landfill waste in all markets, moving as fast as infrastructure and best practices allow.
• Sell more sustainably produced products while maintaining the low prices customers expect:
o Packaging: Walmart pledges to work with suppliers to reduce product and packaging waste and preserve natural resources. Our goal by 2025 is for Walmart’s private brand packaging to be 100 percent recyclable.
o Affordable, safe and healthier: Walmart will double the sales of locally grown produce in the U.S. by 2025 and work with suppliers and its own private brand products to remove certified synthetic colors and artificial flavors in products where customers don’t expect to find them, as well as reduce sodium, added sugars and saturated fat where possible. Additionally, Walmart will expand and enhance sustainable sourcing to cover 20 key commodities, including bananas, grapes, coffee, and tea.
o Natural resources: Walmart is expanding sourcing of commodities produced with zero net deforestation. In partnership with governments, NGOs and industry groups, Walmart has previously been working to source private-brand palm oil and beef from Brazil’s Amazon with zero net deforestation. Under the roadmap, Walmart will expand its work into additional critical commodities, including all Brazilian soy and private-brand pulp and paper.
While providing better service and quality goods to customers, Walmart actively shoulders social responsibility of sustainability and protecting the environment in China.
• Joining hands with suppliers, we work on sustainability of supply chain
o Specifically, we are focused on factory energy efficiency with a goal to engage factories that represent 70 percent of Walmart’s Global Sourcing business in China to participate in an energy efficiency program by the end of 2017. Today, Walmart’s Factory Energy Efficiency Program uses the McKinsey Resource Efficiency Deployment Engine (RedE), a web-based tool designed to help suppliers identify, prioritize and implement energy efficiency projects in a simple, easy-to-use platform. To date, we have more than 620 Chinese factories enrolled in the McKinsey RedE tool. Through the work with EDF, Walmart exceeded its goal of eliminating 20 million metric tons (MMT) of GHG emissions from its global supply chain by eliminating a reported 35.6 MMT. Walmart helped 210 China factories achieve the goal of improving energy efficiency by 20 percent from 2009-2012. Total energy savings from the program was 2.2 billion kWh, which is equivalent to reducing 2.1 million metric tons of GHG emissions.
• Collaborating with government and organizations to support sustainability
o In China, local relationships are important in promoting sustainability efforts. Through collaboration with EDF, Walmart is supporting the efforts of the city council in Dongguan, a major manufacturing hub in the Guangdong province of southern China, to launch a “Green Supply Chain” program. The goal of the program is to promote sustainable manufacturing practices that reduce energy, conserve water and reduce pollution in China. To support this effort, Walmart connected its suppliers’ factories in Dongguan with technical training and insight from EDF’s energy experts and other government officials to improve the efficiency of their facilities and lower their environmental footprint.
o Walmart China partnered with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) on Green Farmer Training program. The program addresses concerns as food safety, environmental pollution, while enabling farmers to use more sustainable agricultural practices and improve rural health and livelihoods.
o Joining hands with Cornell University and University of California, Davis, Walmart rolled out the Training Smallholder Apple Farmers project in Shandong and Shaanxi provinces. Over 210,000 smallholder farmers have received trainings. The project has promoted the adoption and proper management of high density systems on dwarfing Apple rootstocks, which brings multiple benefits to smallholder apple farmers, rural communities and the general public: rural economic sustainability in the form of higher on farm incomes, environmental sustainability due to lower use of pesticides and fertilizers, labor savings, and food safety and quality for consumers in China.
o In 2012, Walmart Foundation granted $2 million to The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) to kick off its programs in China. In 2015, Walmart Foundation donated to TSC $875,000 to expand its recent efforts to support Chinese businesses in identifying and capturing sustainability improvement opportunities in Chinese product supply chains.
• Sustainability in food safety : Walmart has been committed to provide our customers with safe, healthy and affordable food. In October, Walmart launched of its Walmart Food Safety Collaboration Center (WFSCC) in Beijing. The launch was attended by partners from the Chinese government, business leaders from the U.S. and China as well as leading food safety researchers and scholars. The Center brings together food safety experts and stakeholders to promote a collaborative approach to improving food safety in China.
• In store energy saving projects : By 2016, Walmart China has invested about 450 million RMB in store energy projects, including LED, HVAC, Heat Reclaim and Ref improving. The accumulated energy saved in three years is about 500 million KWH, equaling the electricity consumed by more than 105,000 families in a year, decreasing CO2 emission of 167,000 tons.
• Energy saving and sustainability promotion among communities and customers
o In Mar 2016, Walmart China participated in the “Earth Hour” activity. All Walmart China stores operate in 1/3 lighting for one hour on 19 Mar. It is also the first time that Walmart China kicks off the “Energy Saving Week” from 19 Mar to 25 Mar.
o In August 2015, Walmart China held a launch ceremony themed “ 2015 Energy Efficiency and Low Carbon Caravan Entering Walmart” and “2015 Sustainable Consumption Communication Week”, in support of the themed activity of “Green Life, Wise Consumption”, a green sustainable consumption communication week kicked off by China Chain Store & Franchise Association (CCFA), WWF and China Retail Sustainable Development Roundtable.
o In April 2011, Walmart China launched its nationwide sustainability campaign themed “2011 Walmart Earth Month”, in six Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Xi’an, Wuhan and Xiamen. With the theme “Go green with no plastic bags, the campaign was held in more than 210 Walmart hypermarkets across China, calling on people from different walks of life to reduce the use of plastic bags, and encourages the use of reusable bags in some pilot cities.
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 11,539 stores under 63 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.