“Today, as we launch our 'FY2022 Environmental, Social and Governance Summary Report,' the world continues to face uncertainty and challenges,” Kathleen McLaughlin, executive VP and chief sustainability officer at Walmart and president of the Walmart Foundation, wrote in a company blog post. “They're diverse, ranging from COVID-19 to inflation and social unrest to climate change.”
In the post, McLaughlin noted that debates have have intensified about terminology — ESG, stakeholder capitalism, inclusive capitalism, shared value, etc. — and whether all of this is just a passing fad.
“ Our view is simple: A company’s long-term success depends on its performance on the societal issues most relevant to its business and stakeholders,” she wrote. “We can’t have a strong business without the trust and engagement of customers, associates, suppliers, investors, civic partners, communities and a thriving planet. And the fundamentals of that are here to stay.”
In the area of sustainability, Walmart reported that is continue to make progress toward its science-based targets for emissions reduction (for example, reporting a 17.5% reduction in FY2021 relative to baseline for Scope 1 and 2 emissions).
The company said it has crossed the halfway mark toward reaching its goal to reduce or avoid one billion metric tons (a gigaton) of greenhouse gas emissions from the global value chain by 2030. To date, suppliers report having reduced or avoided more than 574 million metric tons of supply chain emissions.
In addition, Walmart reiterated its commitment to help protect, restore or more sustainably manage 50 million acres of land and 1 million square miles of ocean by 2030.
On the opportunity front, Walmart said that more than 72,000 of its employees have been enrolled in its Live Better U program since 2018, with all of their college tuition and books paid for by Walmart as of August 2021.