By Kathleen McLaughlin, Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer
Submitted by Walmart
I am excited to let you know that today we released Walmart’s 2020 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, which covers the fiscal year ending on Jan. 31, 2020 (FY2020).
Because FY2020 ended about six weeks before COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, the impact of the pandemic is not discussed in this report – yet the pandemic, as well as the sharpening focus on racial inequity following the death of George Floyd and other Black Americans, underscore the need for collective, transformative action on the world's most pressing social and environmental issues.
Walmart takes a shared value, whole-system approach to ESG. Our ESG initiatives aim to go beyond mitigating business risk. We aim to address societal issues through business initiatives that create value for all our stakeholders; and we seek, in collaboration with others, to transform underlying societal systems (such as retail workforce development and food supply chains) for long-term social, environmental and economic sustainability.
As a large multicategory, omni-channel retailer operating in many countries with millions of associates and hundreds of millions of customers, Walmart is often in the news. To help investors and other stakeholders separate signal from noise in assessing our ESG performance, the report describes our aspirations, strategies, practices, challenges and progress on relevant ESG issues and metrics during FY2020. It provides a holistic snapshot of Walmart’s approach to ESG issues as of Jan. 31, 2020 (see these links for more recent information on our COVID-19 response and racial equity initiatives).
With respect to environmental issues, we aim to do more than minimize the environmental footprint of Walmart operations; collaborating with suppliers, NGOs and others, we aim to transform product supply chains end-to-end, industry-wide, for sustainability – reducing emissions, eliminating waste and fostering circularity of packaging and other materials, and sustaining natural resources all along the value chain. Highlights of our environmental efforts in FY2020:
Similarly, we prioritize the social challenges most relevant to our customers, associates, suppliers, people who work in supply chains and live in the communities we serve. Through our jobs, sourcing, relationships and capabilities we aim to create economic opportunity, advance equity, and help strengthen social cohesion. The report describes efforts and communicates our advancements in our work. A few highlights:
Effective corporate governance is essential to achieving our mission and creating longâ€‘term value. The report describes our commitment to stakeholder engagement; a diverse, high-performing and independent board; executive compensation aligned with long-term value creation; ESG leadership and oversight; robust ethics and compliance practices; and strong corporate citizenship.
Business exists to serve society, and, in turn, serving society strengthens business. The world’s problems demand big solutions and the collaborative efforts of many across sectors to transform systems. Our associates aspire to be part of the solution – to draw on our passion and capabilities to spark the bold, collective action necessary to create a more sustainable and equitable future.
Thank you for your interest in Walmart’s ESG efforts. We welcome you to read our full report and look forward to your feedback – you make us a better company.
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 11,535 stores under 72 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2016 revenue of $482.1 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.2 million associates worldwide.
Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity.
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