Retailer increases charitable donations, green power purchases, community investment, payments to Canadian suppliers, energy efficiency, factory training, and recycling.
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 20 /CNW/ - Walmart Canada has released its latest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report (http://www.walmart.ca/wms/microsite/CSR_Report/index.jsp), documenting efforts to conduct business in a way that promotes positive outcomes for the environment, company associates, factory workers, and the communities in which Walmart operates.
"As one of Canada's biggest companies and employers, CSR is one of our biggest duties," said David Cheesewright, Walmart Canada's president and CEO. "At our core, we are determined to do what companies are meant to do, grow and prosper. At the same time, we have gained an increasing appreciation for the need and ability of individuals and communities to prosper alongside Walmart.
"Ultimately, a commitment to responsible business practices is helping us do want we do best - save Canadians money so they can live better."
The report documents CSR results for Walmart Canada's fiscal year ended January 31, 2009. It contains four categories - Environment, People, Responsible Sourcing, and Community - which include the following highlights:
Environment: Walmart is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its operations and products. The company has three long-term goals: 1. To operate a zero-waste business; 2. To operate with 100% renewable energy; 3. To sell products that sustain resources and the environment. Key accomplishments follow.
- The company diverted approximately 22 per cent or 22 million kg more
waste than the prior year. This contributed to the following waste
diversion rates: 65 per cent in Walmart Supercentres, 74 per cent in
discount stores, and 87 per cent in the corporate office. The company
intends to make the corporate office a zero-waste facility in 2009
and to raise diversion rates in stores nationwide through new
- The Burlington, Ontario supercentre, opened in January, 2009, is the
company's first environmental demonstration store. It is a living
laboratory that includes a first-of-its-kind application of
geothermal heating and cooling, daylight harvesting systems, extended
waste recycling initiatives, and energy management programs that make
it 60 per cent more efficient than traditional Walmart stores.
- The company more than doubled its unique For the Greener Good
program, which identifies for customers products that are third-party
certified as environmentally preferable, growing from 300 products to
more than 700.
People: Walmart Canada has grown to become Canada's third-largest employer. By providing an inclusive work environment, training and education, and opportunity, the company is making associates feel more valued, rewarded and empowered than ever before.
- During a difficult economy, Walmart continued to grow its business
and create jobs. The company hired more than 5,000 new associates,
growing its team to more than 82,000 nationwide. This makes Walmart
Canada's third largest employer.
- In a year when many companies conducted lay-offs, Walmart Canada
celebrated 9,900 promotions, provided operational and leadership
training to 2,400 associates, and graduated 500 associates, mostly
part time, from the company's Store of Learning program.
- Walmart Canada also became a more flexible work environment, with the
introduction of partial maternity leave top-up payments, work-hour
flexibility, and a progressive retirement program to allow aging
associates to remain with the company in custom-altered roles.
- The company has been working for years to recognize the importance of
women in senior leadership roles. Through a new program called Women
in Leadership, and existing education and networking initiatives
specifically for female associates, 26 per cent of the company's
senior management are female. This is nearly 25 per cent higher than
the Canadian average and 40 per cent higher than the company's tally
- Walmart Canada's Diversity Council struck an Employer of the
Community program and working group. The group's initiatives included
documenting and promoting a multicultural calendar of events,
explaining the significance of various religious and cultural dates,
and providing ongoing diversity training for management associates.
Responsible Sourcing: As a major retailer, Walmart recognizes the need to confirm that the merchandise we sell is sourced and made ethically and responsibly. Though the company does not own or operate factories, it maintains rigorous standards and monitoring around working conditions, labour practices, and environmental standards.
- In 2007, Walmart became aware of allegations that school children
were being forced to work in cotton fields in Uzbekistan. The company
commissioned research, conducted an investigation, and made attempts
to address the issue directly with the Uzbek government. On
September 30, 2008, Walmart instructed its global supply base to
discontinue sourcing cotton-based materials from Uzbekistan until
independent verification confirms the use of forced child labour has
- In October, 2008, Mike Duke, president and CEO of Walmart Canada's
parent company, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., traveled to Beijing and
assembled an audience of more than 1,000 Walmart suppliers and
government officials. "We are expecting more of ourselves at Walmart
and expecting more of our suppliers," he said, announcing new social
and environmental accountability for the global network of companies
supplying Walmart with products.
- In 2008 we began a full review of our fundamental supplier
expectations. We also began to refine standards to make them stronger
and simpler. Part of this process includes the incorporation of the
Global Social Compliance Program "Reference Code" which provides
common ground for retailers and factory auditors around the world.
Community: Walmart Canada is committed to long-term partnerships with the communities in which it operates. That means investing, hiring, operating and contributing locally to help communities remain economically and socially healthy.
- In 2008, the company did business with 6,879 Canadian product and
service suppliers, an eight per cent increase over the prior year. It
paid those companies $13.8 billion, nearly 20 per cent more than the
- Through new and expanded stores, the company created more than 10,000
jobs, including both in-store and construction jobs.
- In 2008, Walmart raised and donated more $22.5 million for national
and local charitable initiatives. This was a 12 per cent increase
over the prior year.
Walmart Canada operates 314 stores nationwide, employing more than 82,000 associates who serve more than one million Canadians each day.
SOURCE Walmart Canada
For further information: For further information: Susan Schutta, Corporate Affairs Director, Walmart Canada, (905) 821-2111 x8012