Walmart Canada Releases its latest Corporate Social Responsibility Report

http://smr.newswire.ca/en/walmart-canada/walmart-canada-releases-its-latest-corporate-social

Report highlights company's progress and future plans in sustainability, employment practices, responsible sourcing and community impact

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Aug. 3 /CNW/ - Walmart Canada today released its fourth annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report summarizing the company's accomplishments and future plans in social responsibility for the period ending January 31, 2010. This year, the company has developed a new and interactive website for the report, www.walmartcsr.ca, that will serve as the company's main vehicle for reporting on its CSR progress in the future.

The report is an open look at the impact of the company's Canadian operations in four categories of CSR: Environment, People, Responsible Sourcing and Community.

"Just as firmly as we're committed to saving Canadians money, we're committed to ensuring that the choices we make as a company enable Canadians and people around the world to truly live better," said David Cheesewright, President and CEO of Walmart Canada. "We've made good progress against our 2009 goals and are embarking on a pivotal first phase of a five-year plan to lead the Canadian retail industry in sustainability and corporate stewardship."

Highlights of Walmart Canada's 2009 CSR report include:

    
    Environment
    -----------

    Walmart Canada is dedicated to reducing its environmental impact and is
working towards three core sustainability goals: To be supplied 100 per cent
by renewable energy; To create zero waste; To sell products that sustain
people and the environment.

    -   Building Greener: Walmart Canada began construction of its most
        sustainable perishable distribution centre (PDC) in North America,
        which will include a pilot of fuel cell technology, solar and wind
        power as well as many other sustainable features. The company met its
        goal to open new stores that are 30 per cent more energy-efficient
        and is working to develop more energy-efficient future prototypes.
    -   Waste Diversion: The company reached an 80 per cent waste diversion
        rate across its network of stores, diverting an estimated
        127,093,519 kg of waste from landfill. The program is expanding with
        a fresh food initiatives to help stores reach the company's 90 per
        cent waste diversion rate by 2014.
    -   Energy-Efficiency: Walmart Canada was successful in reducing
        electricity use per square foot of retail space through the
        implementation of various energy-saving initiatives at the store
        level.
    -   Renewable Energy: Walmart Canada is investing in renewable energy
        including hydrogen fuel cells, geothermal technology as well as solar
        and wind power.
    -   Business Collaboration: In February 2010, Walmart Canada hosted its
        first Green Business Summit to share its business case for going
        green and to accelerate the implementation of profitable and
        environmentally sustainable business practices among other companies.

    Community
    ---------

    Walmart Canada aims to develop and sustain positive partnerships with
communities by investing, hiring, operating and contributing on both the local
and national level. The company is focused on helping the communities that
drive its success. Its main contribution focus is on helping families advance
in the areas of healthcare, education and safety.

    -   Community Investment: The company made payments of $14.2 billion to
        7,726 Canadian suppliers and service providers. Amidst a global
        economic downturn, it steadily increased investment in Canada
        directing hundreds of millions of dollars to building and converting
        stores as well as creating 5,400 jobs in the construction trades.
    -   Community Involvement: Walmart Canada donated and raised through
        fundraising a total of $25.5 million. The company refocused the
        breadth of its activities and streamlined existing programs to
        increase the impact for each core cause.

    Global Sourcing
    ---------------

    Walmart Canada sources the merchandise it sells from Canadian suppliers
and from vendors in over 71 other countries. The company does not own or
operate factories but its constant focus is on sourcing products from ethical
sources, ensuring that suppliers maintain high standards and that they
manufacture products in an environmentally sustainable way. The company is
also continuing its work to build community support with NGOs on the ground in
the countries it sources from.

    -   Collaborating for Change: Globally, the company began a partnership
        with other major brands and retailers to establish a common set of
        standards for audits so that a consistent and global approach for
        continuous improvement of working conditions is applied to global
        supply chains.
    -   Supplier Development Program: Through supplier development
        specialists, the company is proactively working with strategic
        suppliers to raise standards and practices. It is working with them
        to identify any issues they may be experiencing and assisting them in
        defining solutions.
    -   Buyer Training: Walmart Canada is taking extra measures to ensure
        buyers are informed on responsible sourcing practices and that it is
        part of their buying workflow.
    -   At Work in the Community: The company is continuing its work with the
        International Giving Development Program to fund local NGOs. The
        company is helping fund schools, health clinics and training sessions
        with an aim to promote economic empowerment for vulnerable
        populations.

    People
    ------

    Walmart Canada has a team of over 80,000 associates. The company is
committed to helping them perform at their best by providing a positive work
environment, practical training and opportunities to grown and excel in their
lives and careers.

    -   Winning Corporate Culture: The company was named one of Canada's 10
        Most Admired Corporate Cultures of 2009 by Waterstone Human Capital
        Inc. Walmart Canada is the largest employer and the only grocery and
        general merchandise retailer on the list. Companies on the list were
        selected by Canadian senior executives and Walmart Canada was
        specifically chosen for its culture of recognition, engrained social
        responsibility strategy and financial performance.
    -   Best Host Program: The company is piloting the "Best Host" program in
        stores, which is designed to enhance English language and customer
        service skills for associates. Course participants come from diverse
        backgrounds with the majority speaking English as their second or
        third language.
    -   Training and Advancement: In an economically difficult year, Walmart
        Canada celebrated 6,600 promotions and provided over 5,300 associates
        with operational and leadership training. The company saw increasing
        numbers of its associates taking the opportunity to train for
        managerial positions through its Store of Learning program, which are
        special classrooms set inside our stores.
    

"Our work is just beginning in CSR, but we're proud of our progress towards our goals," added Cheesewright. "We know there's much more to do and we'll continue to use our size and scope to drive change within our own business and within the wider global context."

About Walmart Canada

Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Walmart Canada operates 319 retail outlets nationwide and serves more than one million customers daily. The company's vision is to demonstrate environmental leadership by reducing the ecological impact of its operations through company-wide programs focused on waste, energy and products, as well as outreach programs that preserve and enhance local environments. Walmart's global goal is to generate zero waste, to be powered 100 per cent by renewable energy and to sell products that sustain people and the environment. Visit www.walmart.ca for more information or follow Walmart Canada on Twitter: www.twitter.com/walmartcdanews.

SOURCE Walmart Canada

For further information: For further information: Felicia Fefer, Walmart Canada, (905) 821-2111 x 4466


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