INDIACSR News Network
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia : “Walmart founder Sam Walton said, ‘If we work together, we’ll lower the cost of living for everyone…we’ll give the world an opportunity to see what it’s like to save and have a better life’. Sam’s words helped to shape a purpose for Walmart and have guided us in delivering everyday low prices to our customers, as well as in supporting the aspirations of communities to realise a ‘better life’ through community giving, sustainability initiatives, our employment practices and the empowerment of women,” shared Mr. Scott Price, President and CEO, Walmart Asia, on the eve of the APEC CEO Summit in Vladivostok, Russia.
Under a theme of ‘Addressing Challenges. Expanding Possibilities’ the 2012 APEC CEO Summit plans to tackle a host of issues including trade liberalisation, safe food and water supply as well as infrastructure development. Walmart has built strong credentials in supporting the development of communities and local economies across APEC countries, and has assembled a list of 10 ways Walmart is making a difference in these areas.
1. Saving customers money
Across the world we are saving customers money. In 2011 alone, Walmart saved American families US$1.1 billionon fresh fruits and vegetables through its EDLP (everyday low prices) promise. In international markets as well, Walmart has made EDLP a winning business model.
2. Making products accessible
Today, Walmart operates over 10,000 stores in 27 countries serving customers and members over 200 million times every week. Walmart connects with customers through retail outlets, online, and on mobile devices.
3. Creating jobs
As a company that employs over 2.2 million worldwide, Walmart takes the career development of its associates to heart. In 2011, Walmart spent nearly US$100 million globally on training people. The relationships Walmart builds with its associates are paramount to its success.
4. Supporting communities in need
Globally, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave US$958.9 millionin cash and in-kind contributions during the fiscal year ended January 2012. Included in this giving was Walmart’s response to devastating disasters including the Japan earthquake and tsunami, flooding in Mexico and the Midwest, Texas and coastal wildfires, southern US tornadoes and the Wenchuan earthquake in China, among others. In 2011, Walmart donated 338 million pounds of food to hunger relief organizations – the equivalent of250 million meals.
5. Reducing waste
In 2011, Walmart kept 80.9% of all waste generated by US operations out of landfills. Walmart also cut plastic bag waste by 42.5 million pounds, or approximately 3.1 billion bags across its global operations.
6. Saving energy
Walmart currently has 180 renewable energy projects in operation or under development across its global portfolio, providing it with 1.1 billion kilowatt hours of renewable energy annually – enough to power 78,000 American homes every year.
7. Empowering women
In 2012, Walmart donated US$2 million to Secretary Clinton’s International Fund for Women and Girls and other NGOs to help 55,000 women build businesses and take control of their futures. Walmart also agreed to partner with the Inter-American Development bank and leading businesses to provide job training and placement for nearly 500,000 young people in Latin America and the Caribbean.
8. Sourcing locally
In 2011, Walmart increased the amount of locally sourced produce it sells by 97%. Locally grown produce accounted for over 10% of all produce sold in its US stores. In China, Walmart has established partnerships with nearly 20,000 suppliers, domestically sourcing more than 95% of the merchandise in its stores. In India, more than 90% of goods and services offered at Bharti Walmart outlets are sourced locally.
9. Sourcing directly from farmers
To support farmers and their communities, Walmart is working with tens of thousands of farmers in Central America, China, Chile, Japan and Mexico, to deliver quality products to customers and increase incomes in rural areas. Walmart’s Tierra Fertil program in Central America has assisted more than 2,200 farmers and improved the quality of life for more than 16,600 families by purchasing more than US$90 million in fruit, vegetables and grains, and selling them in Walmart stores.
10. Ethical sourcing
Walmart’s Ethical Sourcing program helps to verify that products it sources from more than 61,000 suppliers in over 55 countries are produced with dignity and respect for workers, while also lessening the company’s impact on the environment. For example, by January 2011, 120 factories participating in Walmart China’s Energy Efficiency Program reported improving energy efficiency by more than 20% with 80 million KWh of energy saved.
“Making a positive difference in the communities we serve is part of our DNA,” concluded Mr. Price. “As communities, cities and regions improve and grow, Walmart will improve and grow with them. APEC provides a formidable platform to discuss some of the positive changes Walmart has been a part of over the years, and I look forward to sharing these with my counterparts and delegates over the next few days.”
Mr. Price is scheduled to participate in an 2012 APEC CEO Summit panel discussion on 7 September entitled ‘Supply chains: ever more efficient, ever more vulnerable?’