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Walmart maps out social role

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal­mart president and chief executive officer Doug McMillon has outlined a road map intended to steer the company’s role on issues critical to society over the next several years.

The road map points to “a new era of trust and transparency,” McMillon commented early this month in a presentation at the Net Impact Conference in ­Philadelphia.

The road map adds fresh detail to Walmart’s sustainability agenda and reflects a wider recognition of its impact on communities and the planet, the company said in a statement.

Walmart noted that it is the first retailer with an emissions-reduction plan approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative, in alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement in December 2015.

Under its plan, Walmart will use a combination of energy-efficiency and energy-generation measures. The measures should allow the company to achieve an 18% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations by 2025. Walmart also pledges to work with its suppliers toward a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 1 gigaton by 2030.

The commitments include:
• Power half of the company’s energy from renewable sources under a plan designed to achieve science-based emissions targets.
• Achieve zero waste to landfills in key markets by 2025.
• Sell more sustainably produced products while maintaining the low prices customers ­expect.

McMillon also discussed recent investments Walmart has made in education, wages and training for associates in the United States. And he called for a broader industry push to ensure retailers are seen as employers of choice. “Today we are asking other retailers to join us in helping people live better,” he commented. “Let’s use our collective power to create good jobs with good training that become good careers for all our ­associates.”

Walmart vowed to work to achieve the following:
• Support the human dignity of workers in the retail supply chain.
• Be the place to go for an individual’s first job.
• Provide a clear path for career advancement.
• Improve predictability in the lives of its associates by providing work schedules over two weeks in advance in the United States and implementing a strong leave policy that empowers associates to decide how to use their paid time off based on individual needs.
• Improve the lives of people in communities by sourcing more products locally around the world, including $250 billion in products supporting American jobs by 2023 and $20 billion in products from women-owned businesses in the United States by the end of this year.


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