Climate change is the challenge of our time, requiring action across all sectors of society. While there are many emerging technologies, today there is only one proven, economical way to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at a global scale: Forests. While much of the emphasis to date has been on reforestation and afforestation, increasingly leaders are looking to responsibly managed forests as an opportunity to sequester additional biogenic carbon. As the world’s most trusted forest certification – impacting more than 500 million acres – the Forest Stewardship Council represents the gold standard for responsible forest management. As a result, many stakeholders – including leading brands, supply chain companies, architects, builders, and developers – are asking FSC about the carbon impacts of FSC-certified forest management.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) today issued its inaugural Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, which details the company’s goals, progress and achievements for fiscal year 2019 toward its commitment to increase economic opportunity for associates and local communities, build sustainability in supply chains and activate climate change initiatives.
Walmart is disclosing progress to date in several areas including:
Activating Climate Change Initiatives
•Climate Change Impact Scenario Analysis – Walmart worked with an independent third-party consultant to better understand the nature of climate change and potential implications for the retail sector aiming to align with the scenario guidance set forth by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.
•Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Walmart reports a 6.1% reduction in Scopes 1 and 2 annual greenhouse gas emissions in 2017 compared with 2015.iii
•Project Gigaton – Walmart made advancements on its Project Gigaton goals with suppliers reporting avoiding more than 93 million metric tons of emissions over the last two years. Launched in 2017, Project Gigaton is a global effort that invites suppliers to join Walmart in a commitment to avoid 1 billion metric tons of emissions in the company’s collective value chains by 2030.
•Using Renewable Energy – As part of Walmart’s goal of being supplied by 50% renewable energy by 2025, 28% of Walmart’s electricity needs are supplied by renewable sources.iv
•Mitigating Waste – In 2018 in the U.S., Walmart diverted 81% of unsold products, packaging and other waste materials from landfills. Walmart also recycled more than 430 million pounds of plastic film and rigid plastics globally.
Enhancing Sustainability in Supply Chains
•Human Rights – The ESG Report includes a discussion of salient human rights issues and progress on related initiatives within the company and through collective action, building on the human rights statement the company published last year bringing together in one place the company’s perspective on respecting human rights in its operations and supply chains.
•Sourcing Responsibly – To help address worker safety issues in the Bangladesh ready-made garment industry, Walmart became a founding member of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety in 2013. The Alliance concluded its five-year commitment on December 31, 2018, and we have seen significant progress, including 90% of high-priority remediation items completed across all factories affiliated with the Alliance.
•Sustainability Index – As of the end of FY2019, Walmart achieved a supplier Sustainability Index participation rate that covers 80% of the goods Walmart sells in U.S. stores and Sam’s Club locations for categories where the Sustainability Index is available.
Increasing Economic Opportunity for Associates
•Advancing Economic Mobility – Walmart promoted more than 215,000 people to jobs of greater responsibility and higher pay in Walmart U.S. stores in FY2019.
•Fostering Inclusionv – 31% of Walmart’s corporate officers are women, 44% of associates with revenue responsibility are women and 57% of hourly promotions were women. Of the 800,000 Walmart U.S. store associates that have been through the Walmart Academy, 60% of those trained were women. Additionally, 34% of associates with revenue responsibility are people of color.vi
•Wages and Benefits – Walmart is committed to the economic mobility of its associates and has shared that the average total compensation and benefits for a full-time, hourly field associate in Walmart U.S. stores is $19.31 as of March 2019.vii
“It’s not enough to just serve one stakeholder group, the opportunity for business and their leadership is to add value for all stakeholders. Throughout Walmart’s history, we have understood that for a business to last, it must have a fundamental reason for being, which is found in the value it creates for all – customers, associates, communities, shareholders, suppliers, future generations, and the planet.” – Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart
“Through ESG initiatives, our goal is not only minimizing our own footprint or mitigating risk, but to inspire collective action to help transform the sector for long-term environmental, social and economic sustainability,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, Walmart’s chief sustainability officer. “We’re engaged in efforts to source responsibly, create economic opportunity for retail associates and people working in supply chains, take action on climate change, and help improve sustainability of the products we sell. We believe business exists to serve society, and that when business engages to be part of the solution not only can we help accelerate progress in the world, we make our business better, too.”
Walmart’s ESG report is a newly-focused and streamlined update on how the company approaches key issues facing society and initiatives across its business segments that make a difference in both the communities it operates and the world. In addition to the ESG report, Walmart also announced today the release of its annual update on ethics and compliance which focuses on enhancements the company has made to its Global Ethics and Compliance Program over the years, as well as the launch of Walmart.org, a new website featuring the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation.