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Walmart's Path to Becoming a 'Regenerative Company'

Retailer updates progress on environmental, social and governance goals
Gina Acosta, Progressive Grocer
Walmart's Path to Becoming a 'Regenerative Company'
Walmart has hired 500,000 associates, many of whom had been displaced from other jobs due to the pandemic.

After a year of intense turmoil and change, Walmart is offering an update on its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals.

The retailer announced a list of ESG highlights and launched a new “living” ESG reporting site.

Highlights from Walmart's ESG efforts include:

  • Walmart hired 500,000 associates, many of whom had been displaced from other jobs due to the pandemic.
  • Walmart sourced more than $13 billion worth of goods and services from 2,900 diverse suppliers for its U.S. business.
  • Walmart's suppliers have avoided more than a cumulative total of 416 MMT of CO2e (Scope 3) through Project Gigaton since the program's inception in 2017.
  • Walmart achieved a 12.1% reduction in Scopes 1 & 2 emissions, compared to the 2015 baseline. Walmart is targeting zero emissions across its global operations by 2040 without relying on carbon offsets.

"We face a long list of social and environmental challenges in addition to the health and accompanying economic crisis and their impact around the world," said CEO Doug McMillon. "Just as we are in any 'normal' year – if there ever is such a thing – Walmart was guided by a desire to serve all of our stakeholders: customers, associates, shareholders, suppliers, communities and the planet."

In April Walmart released its "2020 Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Report," which detailed its progress to create greater racial equity across society and in the company.

"The murder of George Floyd was a snapshot of centuries of prejudice and injustices our Black and African American communities have faced, and it focused everyone’s attention in a way that hadn’t happened in a long time. Once again, our people asked how we could help make a difference. Within our walls, we collectively listened and learned, and that work continues today. We accelerated changes to our hiring, pay and promotional practices to create an even more diverse, equitable and inclusive company for all. We also launched associate-led Shared Value Networks and the Center for Racial Equity, which are now deploying resources and strategies to address issues across finance, healthcare, education and criminal justice systems," McMillon said.

Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart operates more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Walmart-owned Sam's Club ranks No. 9 on the list.

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