At a time when companies have been working towards ambitious ESG goals, some food retailing businesses and suppliers are included on the 2022 Fortune "Change the World" list.
Fortune spotlighted more than 50 global companies that have made an important social or environmental impact through their business strategies. PayPay topped the publication’s list, followed by international e-commerce giant Alibaba and Walmart. Indoor farming operations Infarm and Aerofarms also made the list, as did drone delivery startup Zipline.
Walmart, for its part, has shared strides towards several of its corporate responsibilities goals in recent months. During its Sustainability Milestone Summit held in early October, the retail behemoth provided an updated on goals, such as its July commitment to purchase 4,500 all-electric delivery vehicles from Canoo and the rollout of its Circular Connector platform to match circular packaging solutions with manufacturers in need. Also in recent weeks, Walmart and Sam’s Club revealed they will host the first HBCU Student Summit to accelerate equity in education.
Meanwhile, in a July letter to shareholders, Alibaba Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang affirmed that ESG serves as a strategic pillar in the organization. He noted the company is on track to achieve carbon neutrality in its own operations by 2030, has updated its poverty alleviation fund into a rural revitalization fund across China and worked to improve its corporate governance.
According to Matt Heimer, Fortune’s executive features editor, the companies on the 2022 list leveraged the tools of capitalism to tackle problems impacting people and the planet. He also looked back on the ways the list has evolved since it was first published: “On our inaugural list, six of the 51 companies we recognized had annual revenue of $1 billion or less. This year, in our eighth edition, 18 out of 54 have less than $1 billion in revenue, and nine of those are currently venture-backed startups."
Chosen by Fortune’s own reporting and analysis team, the Change the World list was based on the criteria of measurable social impact, business results and degree of innovation. The project is collaboration between Fortune and the Shared Value initiative.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Sam’s Club is No. 8 on the list.