Wal-Mart Announces Global Responsible Sourcing Initiative at China Summit



    
    Company sets new goals and greater expectations for environmental and
    social compliance, transparency and accountability

    
    BEIJING, Oct. 22 /CNW/ -- Today, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:   WMT) took
the next step in its sustainability journey by hosting an unprecedented
gathering of more than 1,000 leading suppliers, Chinese officials and NGOs in
Beijing, China. The company outlined a series of aggressive goals and
expectations to build a more environmentally and socially responsible global
supply chain.
    "Sustainability is about building a better business. We think it is
essential to our future success as a retailer -- and to meeting the
expectations of customers," said Lee Scott, president and CEO of Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc.  "Maintaining the trust of our customers -- today and in the
future -- is tied hand-in-hand with improving the quality of our supplier
factories and their products."
    The company will focus on areas aimed at meeting or exceeding social and
environmental standards, driving innovation and efficiency and building
stronger partnerships with suppliers, government and NGOs.
    Scott continued, "I firmly believe that a company that cheats on overtime
and on the age of its labor, that dumps its scraps and chemicals in our
rivers, that does not pay its taxes or honor its contracts -- will ultimately
cheat on the quality of its products.  And cheating on the quality of products
is the same as cheating on customers.  We will not tolerate that at Wal-Mart."
    Addressing suppliers in attendance, Mike Duke, vice chairman for
Wal-Mart's international division outlined a number of requirements and
expectations for suppliers who want to do business with Wal-Mart.  "Achieving
the goals that we lay out today is going to require a common commitment.  It's
going to take even stronger and deeper relationships. And it is going to take
all of us working together," said Duke.  "We are expecting more of ourselves
at Wal-Mart, and we will also expect more of our suppliers."
    
    Responsible Sourcing
    
    At the Summit, Wal-Mart laid out a series of requirements for companies
who want to do business with Wal-Mart.  These requirements include:
    --  Required demonstration of compliance with environmental laws and
regulations -- China's desire for a cleaner environment is clear, and the laws
on the books reflect that. Wal-Mart is taking a number of steps to further
strengthen and enforce supplier compliance with environmental and social
standards, including the creation of a new supplier agreement that will
require factories to certify compliance with laws and regulations where they
operate as well as rigorous social and environmental standards. The agreement
will be phased in beginning with suppliers in China in January 2009 and
expanding to suppliers around the world by 2011.
    --  Partner with suppliers to improve energy efficiency and use fewer
natural resources -- Wal-Mart will partner with suppliers to improve energy
efficiency in the top 200 factories it sources from directly in China by 20
percent by 2012. The company will share information and best practices with
all of the factories it sources from as well as its competitors.
    --  Higher standards of product safety and quality -- Wal-Mart aims to
drive returns on defective merchandise virtually out of existence by 2012.
    --  Greater transparency and ownership -- By 2009, Wal-Mart will require
all direct import suppliers plus all suppliers of private label and
non-branded products to provide the name and location of every factory they
use to make the products it sells. The company will also have all suppliers it
buys from directly to source 95 percent of their production from factories
that receive the highest ratings on environmental and social practices by
2012.
    Wal-Mart also announced a major effort to make Wal-Mart China a leader in
sustainability in China by committing to make its stores more sustainable. The
company will design and open a new store prototype that uses 40 percent less
energy and will reduce energy use at existing stores by 30 percent by 2010. In
addition, during the next two years, Wal-Mart China will aim to cut water use
in all of its stores in half by investing in new hardware and systems and
developing best practices that will help its associates and stores use water
more efficiently.
    The company also pledged to bring more environmentally sustainable
products to its store shelves.
    Outlining the steps Wal-Mart will take to become the most environmentally
responsible retailer in China, Wal-Mart China President and CEO Ed Chan
addressed the need for collaboration between Wal-Mart, the company's suppliers
and the Chinese government.  "Few challenges in our world today are more
pressing than protecting the environment and, in China, Wal-Mart has a unique
opportunity to lead," said Chan.  "With the world's largest population, and a
robust manufacturing industry, no market presents a greater opportunity for
environmental sustainability to take hold than China."
    On the environment, the Chinese government has set strong goals for
sustainability and Wal-Mart is aligned with those goals.  Wal-Mart and the
Administrative Center for China's Agenda 21 of the Ministry of Science and
Technology signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will serve as an example
of a partnership that benefits both industry and government.  Wal-Mart China
will also reach beyond its own operations to engage customers and suppliers
and form partnerships with government and NGOs.
    The Summit builds on Lee Scott's "Company of the Future" speech to
Wal-Mart store managers in January, 2008.  In the speech, Wal-Mart pledged to
make the company's operations in China more sustainable and our build a more
environmentally and socially responsible global supply.
    NOTE: A replay of the China Summit can be viewed via Web cast at:
http://www.walmartstores.com
    
    About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:   WMT)
    
    Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Walmart discount stores, supercenters,
Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Club locations in the United States. The
Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United
Kingdom and, through a joint venture, in India. The Company's common stock is
listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. More information
about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting http://www.walmartstores.com. Online
merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and
http://www.samsclub.com.




For further information:

For further information: U.S., Greg Rossiter, 1-800-331-0085, or China,
Jonathan Dong, 86-10-8408-0088, ext. 6209, both of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Web
Site: http://www.walmart.com

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