Aerial view of morning mist at tropical rainforest mountain, background of forest and mist, Aerial top view background forest.
Environmental Highlights

Environmental Highlights

  • john-o-nolan-uMWPrcRsrto-unsplash.jpg
    >230 million
    metric tons (MMT)3
    of avoided emissions (CO2e)
    reported by suppliers since 2017
  • download.png
    of waste materials diverted from landfill and incineration globally
  • Wind energy wheel that is not spinning
    29% (estimated)
    of our operations are
    powered by renewable
    sources of energy5
  • Future Truck.jpeg
    decrease6 in Scope 1
    and 2 annual emissions,
    compared to baseline
    (CY2018 vs. CY2015)
  • sebastian-pena-lambarri-YV593oyMKmo-unsplash.jpg
    Nearly 100%7
    of Walmart U.S. stores’ and Sam’s
    Clubs’ U.S. fresh and frozen seafood
    was sourced in accordance with our
    sustainable seafood policy, as reported
    by suppliers
  • krystina-jarvis-nLfSrImdgEs-unsplash.jpg
    of Walmart U.S.8

    of Sam's Club
    private brand coffee sales were
    sourced certified sustainable
    (UTZ‐Rainforest Alliance or UTZ),
    as reported by suppliers
  • Climate Change

    Senior farmer with a shovel working in a corn field


    Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. According to the U.S. government’s Fourth National Climate Assesment , the current warming trajectory is projected to cost the American economy hundreds of billions of dollars from crop damage, lost labor and the consequences of extreme weather by the end of the century. Human‐caused greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions contribute significantly to rising global temperatures and other signs of climate change, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    At Walmart, we are focused on reducing emissions in our operations, engaging suppliers to reduce emissions in supply chains, strengthening the resilience of our business and using our voice to advocate for collective action.

    Walmart was the only global grocery/multi‐retail category retailer to make CDP’s 2019 ‘A List’ and Supplier Engagement Leaderboard for Climate. Walmart estimates its Scope 1, 2 and partial Scope 3 GHG emissions in accordance with the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard and has disclosed this and other climate‐related information annually since 2006.

    Climate-related risk assessment

    Walmart includes climate risk in the scope of the company’s annual enterprise risk management review. In 2017, to better understand the potential long‐term impact of climate change on the retail sector and our business, we engaged an independent third‐party consultant to conduct a scenario‐based climate risk assessment; we aimed to align with the scenario guidance set forth by the Task Force on Climate‐related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The analysis considered two scenarios for global warming: 1) global temperatures rise by 2 degrees Celsius, the upper end of the range targeted by the Paris Agreement and 2) global temperatures rise by 4 degrees Celsius, often called “business as usual.” Each scenario looked out to the years 2030 and 2050, making assumptions about four climate variables: temperature, drought/water stress, extreme weather events and sea level. In addition to these physical risks, the analysis also considered the transition risk of carbon pricing.

    Climate scenarios: Methodology


    Scenarios applied

    Risk categories

    2030, 2050

    RCP 8.5 (Business As Usual), RCP 2.6 (2° scenario), IEA 450

    Physical, Transition

    Scope of analysis


    Modeled risk

    Considerations for enhancing climate resilience

    Rising temperature

    Net increase in days requiring heating and cooling of facilities

    Progress toward 100% renewable energy

    Improvements in energy efficiency; performance of refrigeration systems


    Reductions in crop yields

    Adoption of sustainable agriculture practices

    Technology and seed innovation (e.g., controlled environment)

    Storm intensity

    Cost of facility damage and recovery

    Facilities siting; construction specifications

    Disaster preparedness; recovery capabilities

    Rising sea level

    Viability of facility locations

    Facilities siting; construction specifications

    Carbon pricing

    Cost of Scope 1, 2 emissions

    Progress toward zero emissions

    We discussed the analysis with teams across our business and the Nominating and Governance Committee (NGC) of the Walmart Board of Directors (the “Board”). We include climate risk in the company’s overall enterprise risk management process and update the Board’s Nominating and Governance Committee regularly on climate initiatives as part of our overall sustainability update. For more information on this analysis, please see our 2019 CDP climate change disclosure .

    Climate change mitigation

    Mitigating the effects of climate change will require worldwide collective action to reduce GHG emissions. Because most emissions in the retail sector lie in product supply chains rather than in stores and distribution centers, we have committed to pursue substantial emissions avoidance and reduction not only in our own operations but also across product supply chains by catalyzing and supporting initiatives among suppliers, NGOs, customers and others at scale.

    Sustainable operations

    We reduced our absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 7.7%6 between our 2015 baseline and 2018, keeping us on track to achieve our science‐based target9 of 18% reduction by 2025.

    Annual GHG emissions

    Risk assessment & scenario analysis assumptions
    The analysis made many simplifying assumptions. For example, each variable was considered in isolation. It also did not consider second‐ or third‐order effects, the potentially offsetting impacts of new technologies, mitigating actions or new business opportunities. While the limitations of the analysis mean that it can’t be used to predict net long‐term impact on financials or business operations, it nevertheless helped to validate our current business strategies and initiatives for energy demand, commodity sourcing, value chain innovation, water management and resiliency.

    Science-based target9


    How we'll get there


    1 & 2

    Reduce GHG emissions by 18% by 2025 compared with 2015 levels (approved as science-based by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) ).

    Increasing the energy efficiency of our buildings

    7.7% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions between our 2015 calendar year baseline and 2018.6

    Improving the performance of our refrigeration systems

    3.8% reduction of Scope 1 and 2 emissions between 2017 and 2018.10, 12

    Maximizing the sustainability of our fleet

    Renewable sources supplied an estimated 29% of our electricity needs globally in calendar year 2019.5 Based on our pipeline of solar and wind projects, we expect to source 35% of our electricity from renewables by the end of 2020.

    Powering 50% of our operations with renewable energy by 2025

    Walmart has contracted more than 1.2 gigawatts (1.2 million kilowatts) of new renewable energy projects over the past two years (2018, 2019). According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Renewable Deal Tracker, this places us fifth among all companies with publicly reported deals during this period.

    Scope 3

    Avoid 1 billion MT (a gigaton) of emissions in our collective value chains by 2030.

    Project GigatonTM

    More than 2,300 suppliers have formally signed on to the project.13 In 2019 alone, more than 1,000 suppliers reported avoiding >136 MMT of CO2e, totaling >230 MMT CO2e since we began measuring progress in 2017.

    Project Gigaton

    Because most emissions in the retail sector lie in product supply chains rather than in stores and distribution centers (such indirect emissions are referred to as Scope 3 emissions), in 2017, we started Project Gigaton — our initiative to engage suppliers in climate action along with NGOs and other stakeholders.

    Project Gigaton aims to avoid one billion metric tons (a gigaton) of greenhouse gases from the global value chain by 2030 by inviting suppliers to set targets and take action in six areas: energy use, sustainable agriculture, waste, deforestation, packaging and product use. The Project Gigaton platform includes a variety of resources, including calculators to help set and report on goals within the initiative, workshops on best practices and links to additional resources and initiatives (for example, packaging playbook and supplier summit, food waste calculator, Higg Index adoption and fertilizer optimization).

    Several organizations have supported development of the Project Gigaton platform and related resources, including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and CDP. They help us continually improve the methodologies and review supplier submissions.

    Omni-channel retail emissions
    In 2017, we undertook a study to explore which retail channel is most efficient in terms of carbon emissions — omni‐channel, online or in‐store. We found that there is no single answer to that question, because our customers’ lives and purchase patterns are dynamic. Sometimes they sprint to the store to purchase a last‐minute toy for a birthday party, and sometimes they stock up on groceries. We found that the better question is: When is each channel most efficient in terms of emissions? Read more about our specific findings in the white paper: The Emissions Implications of Modern Retailing: Omni-channel vs. Stores and Online Pure-Plays .

    We want to democratize climate action

    Additionally, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have invested in initiatives to facilitate progress on emissions reduction across global supply chains. For example, in January 2020, the Walmart Foundation invested in WRI to support Global Forest Watch, a publicly accessible global platform for monitoring deforestation.

    By investing in back‐end capabilities and new ways to analyze data, Global Forest Watch intends to reach an even bigger audience with over 500,000 individual users per year and drive greater transparency to conservation mechanisms directed at forests worldwide.

    We have designed Project Gigaton to accommodate a wide range of suppliers in terms of their readiness and capabilities to undertake intensive greenhouse gas reduction efforts. While we encourage suppliers to set “SMART” goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time‐limited) aligned with science‐based targets, not all suppliers have the capabilities to do so yet. We want to democratize climate action by making resources available for any supplier to get started on ways to avoid or reduce emissions and then to increase their ambition and impact over time.

    To date, more than 2,300 suppliers have formally signed on, making Project Gigaton one of the largest private sector consortiums for climate action. Of the more than 2,300 suppliers, we have recognized 428 as Giga Gurus, meaning they have set SMART goals, agreed to share them publicly and reported avoiding emissions in the most recent reporting year. We’ve also recognized 424 as Sparking Change suppliers that have either set SMART goals and agreed to share them publicly, or have reported avoiding emissions in the most recent reporting year.

    Suppliers report having avoided more than 136 MMT of CO2e in 2019, for a cumulative total of more than 230 MMT of CO2e avoided since 2017.13 We continue to expand the number of potential pathways and calculators in other Gigaton areas and will continue to encourage our suppliers to engage in those.

    Project Gigaton action areas

    Suppliers can make commitments & pursue
    initiatives in one or more of six areas:

    Action area

    Actions we encourage suppliers to take

    Emissions avoided in 20193
    (MT CO2e)


    Avoid energy-related emissions in two ways: 1) reduce energy demand through optimization and efficiency and 2) transition to energy sources that are renewable and emit little to no carbon.



    Address food, product and material waste that come from factories, warehouses, distribution centers and farms and contribute to GHG emissions. Reducing and diverting waste from landfills also can increase operating efficiency and lower costs.



    Reduce unnecessary packaging, using better packaging materials and increasing the reuse and recycling of packaging. Walmart is taking specific aim at plastics, with expanded waste reduction commitments for our U.S. private brands. Read more about our additional work to address plastic packaging in our value chain in the Waste section of this report.



    Adopt best practices in animal agriculture, such as manure management, enteric methane emissions from animals’ digestive processes, feed management and other activities, and efficiently using fertilizer in crop production.



    Reduce deforestation through a range of tools that can be used to maximize impact. This includes certification, monitoring, sustainable sourcing regions, collaborative action and advocacy.


    Product use & design

    Design products to be more energy efficient. Furthermore, product manufacturers can help deliver more innovative products to shelves by making smart, sustainable material choices in the design of their products, such as incorporating recycled content, which can reduce the overall carbon footprint of the product.


    Climate change adaptation

    Insights into climate risk have underscored the relevance of Walmart’s initiatives and long‐standing capabilities in resilient operations and sourcing. See the Climate-related risk assessment section of this report for more information on climate risk scenarios and implications for resilience. Examples include:

    Resilient operations

    Walmart’s Emergency Management Department uses predictive analytics to gauge the path and likely severity of seasonal weather events such as hurricanes that could impact operations and supply lines. The Emergency Management team helps our operations and supply chain teams prepare for and minimize the effects of such events. In the event of a disaster, they operate out of Walmart’s Emergency Operations Center, engaging associates, local governments, NGOs and others as needed, deploying associates with specialized expertise as well as mobile generators, fuel resources, trucks and other resources to manage crises on the ground.

    Read more about Walmart’s Emergency Management Department in the Disaster response & resiliency section of this report.

    Resilient sourcing

    Because product supply chains such as produce can be especially susceptible to weather events and to climate change over time, Walmart has sought to enhance resilience by diversifying sources, encouraging suppliers to adopt more sustainable practices, experimenting with innovative seed varieties and controlled environments and reducing transport time.

    Read more about our supplier engagement in the Product supply chain: Sustainability overview and Product supply chain: Social sustainability sections of this report.

    Philanthropy: Resilience of smallholder farms
    Walmart and the Walmart Foundation invest in philanthropic initiatives to help improve farmer livelihoods and enhance resilience of small farms in Mexico and India. For example, in India where smallholder farmers represent the backbone of the country’s economy, the Walmart Foundation, working beyond Walmart’s supply chain, made a commitment in 2018 to invest $25 million over five years to strengthen farmer producer organizations and farm yields. Through FY2020, we have invested over $13 million in grants to organizations working with more than 96,000 smallholders, approximately 34,500 of them women. In August 2019, we held a summit in New Delhi, India, of grantees and other leading smallholder development experts to share experiences and help advance the field.

    Business: Walmart India
    In 2018, Walmart India committed to source 25% of produce sold in its Best Price Cash & Carry stores from India’s farmers. For 2019, 6.4% of produce sold through our Cash & Carry format was from local farmers.





    We aim to break the link between consumption and waste.

    In 2005, we set an aspirational goal to achieve zero waste14 in our own operations. We aim to achieve that goal by 2025 in four markets: Canada, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. In 2019, we diverted 80%4 of our unsold products, packaging and other operational materials from landfills and incineration globally.

    We also engage suppliers, consumers and other organizations to eliminate waste across the product value chain, especially food waste and plastic waste.

    Waste Metrics

    Plastic waste

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    While plastic provides numerous benefits (in packaging, plastic can help promote food safety and reduce food waste), society has been unable to collect and manage it at the same rate as it is produced. For example, less than 14% of plastic packaging was collected for recycling globally in 2016, with the rest ending up in landfills, rivers and oceans, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. To help reduce plastic waste, we work throughout our business and with suppliers to use less plastic, implement reuse and refill models, recycle more and support innovations to improve waste reduction systems.

    Our aspiration is to achieve zero plastic waste

    Plastic waste in our operations

    Throughout our operations, we aim to eliminate plastic waste by reducing, reusing and recycling plastic needed to run our business. For example, we contract with vendors to collect and recycle rigid plastics and plastic film, produced from our operations and returned from customers. During 2019, we recycled more than an estimated 330 million pounds of plastic film and rigid plastics globally.16

    To learn more about our waste elimination initiatives, including our resources for reducing plastic packaging waste and market-specific waste goals, see Walmart Sustainability Hub , Walmart Canada and Walmart Mexico .

    Plastic & other packaging waste in our supply chain

    According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation , the majority of plastic packaging is single-use.

    To help accelerate the elimination of plastic packaging waste, we’re working with suppliers to:

    • Change packaging to reduce unnecessary plastic, improve recyclability and increase recycled content
    • Encourage industry adoption of new product and packaging formats, including reuse and refill options, by piloting innovative solutions with suppliers
    • Engage customers to educate and inspire them to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic

    Change packaging


    We encourage both our private brand and national brand suppliers to eliminate waste from their operations and the products and packaging they sell through Walmart, and we set specific targets for our private brand suppliers. In February 2019, we became a partner with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy and signatories to their Global Commitment . As part of doing so, we established a goal for our North American20 private brands to achieve 100% recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable packaging and to use 20% post-consumer recycled content by 2025 — a goal expected to impact an estimated 30,000 items for sale.

    In 2019, we surveyed Walmart private brand suppliers to establish a baseline against which we will track progress. The Walmart Sustainability Hub includes guidance for our private brand suppliers to complete the survey.

    We engage our private and national brand suppliers to help them accelerate progress on optimizing packaging. Recent engagements have included:

    • Packaging Innovation Summit in November 2019, where Walmart hosted over 700 suppliers and leading sustainable packaging advocates such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition for a day of working sessions to help suppliers accelerate progress on sustainable packaging.
    • Walmart Recycling Playbook , a resource developed by Walmart in collaboration with The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and Pure Strategies. It can be found on Walmart’s Sustainability Hub , which contains additional tools, trainings and informative videos.
    • Project Gigaton has proven to be an effective way for us to encourage our national brand suppliers to make packaging and waste reduction commitments. At the end of FY2020, 304 suppliers have a SMART goal related to packaging and 275 suppliers have a SMART goal related to waste reduction. In 2019, suppliers have reported 20 million MT of waste avoided attributed to packaging and waste reduction. Read more in the Project GigatonTM section of this report.
    • Industry collaborations : We collaborate with suppliers, retailers, the NGO community and others to help reduce plastic waste through the Plastic Waste Coalition of Consumer Goods Forum (CGF). Additionally, ASDA participates in the UK Plastics Pact led by WRAP, a part of the global Plastic Pact network of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

    Progress towards global goals*

    Total weight of private brand primary plastic packaging

    >1,200,000 MT17

    100% of private brand packaging is recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable by 2025


    Global goal: 17% of private brand plastic packaging is made of post-consumer recycled content by 2025


    North America20 goal: 20% of private brand plastic packaging in North America is made of post-consumer recycled content by 2025


    Progress towards U.S. goals*

    Total weight of private brand primary plastic packaging

    >980,000 MT21

    100% of our Walmart U.S. food and consumable private brand primary packaging labeled with the How2Recycle® label by 2022

    50% - Walmart U.S. sales21

    38% - Sam’s Club sales21

    100% of general merchandise private brand primary plastic packaging is free of PVC by 2020


    *As of the end of FY2020, estimated based on supplier reports of primary packaging. Primary packaging is packaging that goes home with the consumer.

    Encourage industry adoption

    We have encouraged suppliers to develop new product and packaging formats that can greatly reduce or even eliminate the need for single-use packaging. To help our customers more easily find reusable and refillable options, on Earth Day, April 22, 2020, Walmart.com launched a new Reduce, Reuse, Recycle shop featuring a range of sustainability features that customers can sort by, including: reduce energy, reduce food waste, reduce plastic and recycle.

    Engage customers

    By working with suppliers to encourage packaging reductions, recyclability and reusability, we aim to help reduce waste for customers. To put more consumer-friendly recycling information on packaging, we have asked our private brand suppliers to label our food and consumable private brand packaging with the standardized How2Recycle® label , and we encourage our national brand suppliers to use the label as well. We also sell reusable shopping bags and provide access to in-store plastic bag and film recycling bins for customers in more than 2,900 U.S. stores.

    Plastic Bags

    Philanthropy: Plastic Waste
    To help reduce plastic waste in the U.S., the Walmart Foundation makes investments to support materials innovation, recycling collection and sorting infrastructure, and consumer education.

    For example, in FY2020, the Walmart Foundation provided a grant to the Foundation for Chemistry Research and Initiatives in support of the Materials Recovery for the Future program, a pilot designed to improve recovery and recyclability of flexible plastic films.

    The Walmart Foundation also supported The Recycling Partnership’s 50 Cities Leadership Summit , which brought together leaders and representatives from 50 of the largest cities in the continental U.S. to support recycling infrastructure and education.

    Learn more at Walmart.org .

    Food waste

    We are inspired by U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer level and reduce food losses along production and supply chains by 2030. We are also a signatory to the CGF’s Food Waste Resolution and a member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions program.

    Our initiatives are designed to span the food supply chain, including implementing best practices in our retail and distribution operations, working with suppliers upstream and empowering consumers downstream.

    Food waste in our operations

    We aspire to achieve zero waste14 in our operations globally, and we aim to achieve this by 2025 in four countries: Canada, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. This effort includes food waste.

    The primary way we avoid food waste in our operations is by increasing the sell-through of food products. We have strengthened our forecasting and ordering tools to improve inventory flow, adjusted store fixtures to increase product turnover, enhanced distribution centers and offered discounts on food that is close to its expiration date. These efforts have produced positive results: for Walmart U.S., we wasted 57 million fewer food units in our fresh departments in FY2020 than we did the previous fiscal year, and we sold more than 300 million food units through food discount programs.

    When food goes unpurchased, Walmart works to maximize its use by getting it to people and places that need it. In FY2020, we donated more than 585 million pounds of food in the U.S. alone. In addition to donating food to food banks and other charities, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have donated funds to purchase equipment to increase the capacity of the charitable meal system to transport and deliver fresh food.

    Finally, if food is no longer edible, we work to convert it to animal feed, compost or energy. Our stores in Argentina, Canada, Chile, Japan, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States, for example, send a portion of their food waste to anaerobic digestion plants, which break down the food into gases that can be used as fuel and fertilizers.

    Philanthropy: Avoiding food waste
    Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have made significant contributions over the past ten years to help strengthen the charitable meal sector in North America. Since 2005, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have contributed more than 4.5 billion pounds in food donations and over $120 million in grants to support Feeding America, a nationwide network of 200 food banks in the U.S. Since we launched our “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign in 2014, Walmart, Sam’s Club, participating suppliers and customers have cumulatively raised $100 million for Feeding America and its network of local food banks.

    Walmart and the Walmart Foundation also support organizations that help expand access to charitable meals, support development of meal programs in schools and community sites, support access to benefits, and provide nutrition education. Since 2016, the Walmart Foundation has provided more than $18 million in funding to reduce food waste and strengthen food banks in Canada.

    Learn more at Walmart.org .

    Food waste in our value chain


    Beyond our own operations, we also engage our suppliers and customers in efforts to reduce food loss and waste. Through Project Gigaton, Walmart encourages our suppliers to measure and report food waste and introduce practices for reprocessing, donating and recycling. We also encourage suppliers to standardize date labeling, in line with the CGF’s Date Labeling Call to Action, for example with “Best If Used By” date labels (unless a food safety or regulatory reason prevents it). Based on a survey of our suppliers, we estimate that in FY2020, 98% of our Walmart U.S. private brand food sales came from items carrying this label.23

    In FY2020, we joined the “10x20x30” initiative, in which the 10 largest food retailers each engage 20 of their priority suppliers to halve food loss and waste by 2030. The 10x20x30 initiative takes a whole-supply-chain approach, with retailers working to reduce in-store food loss and waste while supporting suppliers on similar efforts.

    Natural Capital


    Natural systems — such as forests, oceans and soil — provide services and resources worth around $125 trillion per year, according to WWF’s Living Planet Report , and are essential for life on this planet.

    Natural systems can be a cost-effective asset in the fight against climate change and its impacts. For example, regenerative agriculture practices such as cover cropping, no till and fertilizer optimization can help improve soil health. As the soil becomes healthier, the land can become a carbon sink: it can absorb carbon from the atmosphere and help mitigate climate change. Healthy trees also act as a carbon sink, taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, which makes protecting and rebuilding forests a priority for nature-based solutions to climate change.

    At Walmart, promoting conservation and replenishment of natural resources is an important component of our sustainability efforts.

    Mapping our assortment to critical landscapes

    Some consumer goods ingredients — such as palm oil, coffee or tuna — originate from ecosystems that are key to life on earth. For products and ingredients
    sourced from critical landscapes, certifications allow the certifying organization to communicate that the standard of production is sustainable in terms of that organization’s particular environmental and/or social criteria.


    The table below highlights the FY2020 status of commodities where we have asked suppliers to use certifications.

    Walmart has also supported the development and implementation of industry initiatives and standards over the years by providing insight on environmental or social criteria relevant to stakeholders. Some examples of industry initiatives we have participated in and supported include The Seafood Taskforce, the United Fresh/Produce Marketing Association’s Ethical Charter on Responsible Labor Practices, the Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors and the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment.



    Status (according to supplier reported data)

    Palm oil


    ~85% of our global private brand palm oil was segregated (or equivalent), identity preserved or mass balance; ~14% of our global private brand palm oil had associated PalmTrace Credits.


    UTZ-Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade

    100% of Walmart U.S.8 and 91% of Sam’s Club U.S. private brand coffee was sourced certified sustainable.

    Pulp & paper

    Forest Stewardship Council, Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, Sustainable Forestry Initiative

    97% of global private brand pulp and paper was certified or uses recycled content.

    Farm raised seafood

    Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), Global GAP or other third- party certification following the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN FAO) guidelines

    99% of Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. farm-raised fresh and frozen seafood was sourced according to our seafood policy.

    Wild-caught seafood

    MSC or Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative-recognized certification (GSSI), Fishery Improvement Project (FIP)

    98% of Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. fresh and frozen wild-caught seafood was third-party certified or sourced in a FIP.7

    Read more in the Product supply chain: Sustainability overview section of this report.

    Philanthropy: Certifications
    The Walmart Foundation has helped NGOs strengthen certification schemes in the past several years. For example, in 2018, the Walmart Foundation provided a two-year grant to the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Foundation to establish a National Longline Tuna Fishery Improvement Project in Indonesia helping to build sustainable management capacity at a jurisdictional level and supporting those fisheries on a pathway to MSC certification. Also in 2018, the Walmart Foundation funded a two-year grant to the Responsible Business Alliance Foundation’s Responsible Recruitment Program, an initiative designed to build the marketplace for responsible recruitment through increasing recruiters’ understanding and adoption of best practices and preparing them for certification.
    Learn more at Walmart.org .

    Ecosystem initiatives

    Addressing deforestation

    Healthy forests sustain biodiversity, support livelihoods and play an important role in mitigating climate change. Focusing on priority regions, we are working with suppliers on certification, monitoring, supporting sustainable sourcing regions, promoting collaborative action and advocating for effective policy. We complement our business initiatives with philanthropic investments in transparency tools and restoration of degraded land. Learn more at Walmart.org .

    Supporting on-the-ground regenerative agriculture

    To improve practices, we support place-based projects. Walmart is a founding member of the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative (MRCC), which over the past four years has facilitated the implementation of over a quarter-million acres of sustainable agriculture practices in the Upper Mississippi River Basin and provided data, financial incentives, and education on soil health, water quality and climate change mitigation to thousands of farmers and consumers.

    Promoting ocean health

    We have been working to address ocean health since 2006 when we announced a goal to source wild-caught fish more sustainably. We have since expanded our work on sustainable seafood to include farmed, fresh and frozen seafood as well as canned tuna. These efforts are complemented with advocacy, collective action and philanthropy. As an example of the latter, the Walmart Foundation provided a grant to Global Fishing Watch, an organization which promotes ocean sustainability through greater transparency using cutting-edge technology to visualize, track and share data about global fishing activity in near-real time and for free.

    Encouraging suppliers to adopt best practices

    To foster conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems, we are encouraging suppliers to engage in the Sustainable Agriculture and Deforestation pillars of Project Gigaton. We ask suppliers to adopt best practices in areas such as manure management, enteric emissions, feed inputs and other activities in animal agriculture, along with fertilizer optimization in crop production. We estimate that the Agriculture pillar could contribute as much as 15% toward our goal to avoid 1 gigaton of GHG emissions by 2030 while at the same time providing benefits to nature, such as improved land use (higher yields and reduced food waste), enhanced soil health and reduced nutrient runoff into waterways. Read more about our approach to certifications in the Certifications section of this report.

    Natural systems can be a cost-effective asset in the fight against climate change and its impacts

    To share best practices and innovations among our suppliers, we convene gatherings and working sessions such as our annual Sustainability Milestone meetings. These events bring together suppliers and NGO leaders to foster collaboration and innovative solutions to complex challenges such as deforestation and ocean acidification.

    We also use tools such as The Sustainability Insight System (THESIS) Index to measure our suppliers’ progress against key best practice environmental and social performance indicators. Read more about THESIS in the Product supply chains: Sustainability overview section of this report. To share best practices and innovations among our suppliers, we convene gatherings and working sessions such as our annual Sustainability Milestone meetings. These events bring together suppliers and NGO leaders to foster collaboration and innovative solutions to complex challenges such as deforestation and ocean acidification.


    Conservation of wildlife habitats is an effective way to foster natural ecosystems while expanding recreational opportunities that support local communities.

    In 2019, the Walmart Acres for America program, the leading public–private land conservation partnership in the U.S. administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, awarded $3.6 million in grants to conserve important landscapes for fish, wildlife and people across 70,300 acres in Colorado, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Washington, Iowa and Kansas. Since 2005, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation reports that this program has conserved more than 1.4 million acres of land.


    Product supply chains: Sustainability overview

    Sewing thread background


    Walmart has prioritized efforts to enhance the sustainability of products and product supply chains, with a focus on environmental and social issues such as: climate, waste and natural capital; working to combat forced labor while promoting inclusive economic opportunity for people who work in supply chains; and consumer access to affordable, safer and healthier products.

    Progress on such issues creates value for business as well as society — for example, by increasing supply chain resilience and efficiency, improving product availability and quality and building trust.

    In 2016, we announced a goal to more sustainably source at least 20 key commodities by 2025, primarily within the following product categories:

    Produce (e.g., tomatoes, grapes, leafy greens, melons) Row crops (e.g., corn, wheat, oats, rice)Specialty crops (e.g., coffee, palm oil)Seafood (e.g., tuna, shrimp, salmon)Meat and dairy (e.g., beef, poultry, pork, milk) Packaged food (e.g., pasta) Consumables (e.g., personal care, laundry)Textiles (e.g., cotton apparel)

    Because of the complexity of global supply chains and the systemic nature of issues such as climate change or forced labor, lasting improvement requires collaboration among many stakeholders. No one organization can single-handedly transform supply chain systems. Progress depends on the engagement of suppliers, NGOs, consumers, governments and other stakeholders.

    To improve the sustainability of a given product supply chain, we start by listening to our customers and other stakeholders to set aspirations, such as emissions reduction or economic inclusion, and prioritize improvements to the product supply chain system, such as farming practices or commodity traceability. See chart, Sustainable product supply chains: Walmart’s approach to systems change .

    To help set aspirations and priorities for system change, we also draw on insights from several data sources, including THESIS , a science-based, third-party survey tool developed by The Sustainability Consortium in collaboration with universities, NGOs, and suppliers. THESIS enables suppliers to report on key performance indicators for the most relevant environmental and social issues across the lifecycle of a product type. Approximately 1,500 unique suppliers have reported through THESIS, representing 61% of our U.S. volume in the 117 categories where the survey is available. Coverage declined from 80% last year as we opened the survey up to a broader base of suppliers and transitioned to a supplier self-directed approach. We believe that coverage will increase as suppliers become accustomed to the new approach.

    Based on stakeholder and THESIS inputs, we develop sustainability strategies for each category. We aim to improve the sustainability not only of Walmart assortments but to also impact supply chain systems more broadly — for example, by improving traceability or supporting adoption of more sustainable farming practices. Varying by product category, our strategies include actions related to product sourcing, collaborative projects with suppliers and NGOs, customer engagement, advocacy, and/or philanthropy.

    Walmart sustainability strategies: Example actions

    Below, we describe the kinds of actions we pursue through our sustainable supply chain strategies; in the table that follows, we provide highlights of FY2020 activities by product category and sustainability issue.

    Product sourcing

    Sourcing requirements, specifications, supplier engagement and inclusive sourcing efforts can help send a “market signal” and build capabilities to produce more sustainable products. Examples of approaches we use:

    • Requirements: Our Standards for Suppliers sets expectations for our suppliers; it is one of the foundations of our sustainability efforts. In November 2018, we also issued our Human Rights Statement , which describes Walmart’s perspectives on human rights related to our own operations and how we engage on these topics, including using grievance mechanisms, in our supply chain. See the Sourcing responsibly section of this report to learn more about our risk-based approach to monitoring and compliance with our standards.
    • Specifications: Our merchants may specify attributes for the products that Walmart carries through the following mechanisms:

    » Issue-specific policies & guidelines: To supplement our Standards for Suppliers, Walmart has developed sourcing policies and guidelines for particular categories and issues (such as seafood, apparel, plastic packaging and animal welfare, among others). We use these to encourage our suppliers to adopt best practices and clarify our expectations relevant to priority sustainabilityissues.

    » Certifications: Based on input from our NGO partners, we ask our suppliers to certify that particular commodities such as palm oil, tuna, coffee and cotton have been produced with specific certifications (see the Natural capital section of this report for more information on certifications and tracking of progress by commodity). Certifications help certifying organizations communicate to consumers that certain environmental or social practices deep in supply chains (e.g., farm or fishery) meet the certifying organization’s standards.

    » Product and packaging specifications: We have set a goal to have 100% of our private brand packaging be recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable by 2025.

    • Inclusive sourcing/financing: Walmart aims to advance economic inclusion through programs such as our Supplier Inclusion Program and working with smaller suppliers in emerging markets, such has smallholder farmers in India.
    Walmart Supercenter store #1560 in Springdale, Arkansas.  Photography for ICM on January 29, 2020.

    Supplier engagement & measurement programs

    To encourage our suppliers to measure and make progress on sustainability issues, we ask our suppliers to report through THESIS and other industry measurement platforms such as CDP for carbon emissions. Walmart leads special initiatives with NGO expert support to scale improvements across our supplier base. For example, through Project Gigaton, more than 2,300 suppliers have formally signed on, and of those, more than 1,000 reported avoiding more than 136 MMT of CO2e in 2019, bringing the cumulative total to more than 230 MMT since we began measuring progress in 2017.3 This past year, we released the Sustainability Packaging Playbook at our Walmart Sustainable Packaging Innovation Summit with hundreds of suppliers and packaging experts, and hosted sessions on reuse/refill approaches with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. To encourage engagement in our Sustainable Chemistry initiative, in 2017, we released a Sustainable Chemistry Implementation Guide , which provides suppliers with resources and information related to our Sustainable Chemistry goals. We also hold forums such as the Seafood Summit to share the latest science, solve technical problems and collaborate on sustainability projects.

    Industry consortia & initiatives

    We also work with many companies, NGOs and consortia on collective initiatives to help advance progress on complex topics. For example, as a member of the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment, Walmart advocates for better government regulation of recruitment agencies and supports initiatives working to promote ethical recruitment of workers in Thailand and Malaysia. We are also members of the CGF Human Rights Coalition on Forced Labor and the Seafood Task Force, an international, multi-stakeholder initiative, both of which seek to address forced labor in supply chains.

    Customer engagement

    Neoclassical Columns

    To help our customers looking for more sustainable options, we use in-store signage and campaigns, we encourage suppliers to use product labeling and we share information on Walmart.com. For example, in FY2020 Walmart U.S. launched new sustainable seafood shelf signage, and we also provide plastic bag and film collection bins in many of our stores. We have asked all Walmart U.S. private brand suppliers to use the How2Recycle® label on their packaging. We developed the Great for You icon
    to identify private brand products that have met nutrition criteria informed by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Institute of Medicine.


    We advocate for public policies that align with our sustainable supply chain priorities

    We advocate for public policies that align with our sustainable supply chain priorities. For example, to create an enabling policy environment for climate action that also supports economic prosperity, we have advocated for country engagement in the Paris Agreement and Renewable Energy Buyers Principles. We have advocated for responsible recruitment through the Bali Process and direct engagement with government leaders in southeast Asia.

    Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s sustainable supply chain strategies seek to accelerate systems change through philanthropic investments, including grants and program-related investments, as well as convening, in-kind support and advocacy. These investments help fund and disseminate research to help align stakeholders on the scientific issues; support programs that seek to strengthen social and environmental practices in farms and fisheries; encourage development of market-based solutions through impact investing, for example with the Closed Loop Fund and Working Capital — The Supply Chain Innovation Investment Fund. Through these investments we aim to empower workers, especially women and other marginalized people; develop new tools designed to enhance transparency and traceability of products along the supply chain; and contribute to an enabling policy environment for sustainability.

    Walmart sustainable supply chain focus areas

    The following tables describe FY2020 sustainable product supply chain focus areas for Walmart by category to achieve aspirations for environmental and social sustainability.


    Row crops

    Specialty crops



    Packaged food



    Across categories


    Project Gigaton: Packaging, waste and agricultural practices

    Project Gigaton: Agricultural practices

    Project Gigaton: Forest positive practices

    Project Gigaton: Forest positive and agricultural practices

    Project Gigaton: Packaging, forest positive and agricultural practices

    Project Gigaton: Packaging and energy utilization

    Project Gigaton: Energy utilization

    We Are Still In; Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance

    Zero waste

    Plastic and packaging: Reduction, recyclable and use of the How2Recycle® label

    Farm and retail food recovery

    Plastic and packaging: Reduction, recyclable and use of the How2Recycle® label

    Plastic and packaging: Reduction, recyclable and use of the How2Recycle® label

    Plastic and packaging: Reduction, recyclable and use of the How2Recycle® label

    Plastic and packaging: Reduction, recyclable and use of the How2Recycle® label

    Textile Exchange investment

    Ellen MacArthur Foundation Plastics Pact; Walmart Sustainable Packaging Innovation Summit; Walmart Sustainable Packaging Playbook; CGF’s Food and Plastic Waste Coalitions; Champions 12.3

    Closed Loop Fund and The Recycling Partnership recycling investments; University of Georgia recycling research

    Natural capital regeneration

    Resilient and controlled environment farming

    Founding member of Midwest Row Crop Collaborative

    Sustainable Coffee Challenge; Tropical Forest Alliance and CGF engagement

    MapBiomas and Global Forest Watch monitoring tool investments

    Seafood Task Force engagement

    Pew and Global Fishing Watching monitoring tool investments

    Round Table for Sustainable Beef; Round Table for Sustainable Poultry; Field to Market

    Certified palm oil; Tropical Forest Alliance and CGF engagement

    100% certified or recycled pulp and paper

    Higg Factory Efficiency Module; Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals; Certified cotton

    CGF Forest Positive Coalition; Business for Nature; Soy Moratorium; One Planet Business for Biodiversity

    Working conditions

    Ethical Charter implementation

    Capacity building investments for responsible recruitment

    Seafood Task Force engagement; Issara Institute collaboration

    Worker voice and responsible recruitment investments

    Worker safety standards: Nirapon in Bangladesh and LABS in Vietnam and India; certified cotton sourcing

    Human Rights Statement; Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment; CGF’s Forced Labor Coalition

    Responsible recruitment and worker voice investments

    Inclusive economic opportunity

    Grow direct farm sourcing, including smallholders in Mexico, India and Central America

    Launch of the Farmer Producer Organization Center of Excellence in India

    Smallholders capacity building to reach certifications, diversify farm incomes and encourage climate-smart practices

    Fishery Improvement Projects (FIP) sourcing

    Diverse sourcing

    Diverse suppliers and producers sourcing

    Diverse suppliers and producers sourcing

    Women-led farmer producer organizations and Empower@Work Collaborative; gender equity investments

    Safer, healthier products

    Seed innovation; Blockchain pilots to promote food safety and reduce food waste

    Supplier engagement on antibiotics

    Great for You label to highlight healthier options

    Sustainable Chemistry initiative

    Third-party supplier certifications for sustainable chemistry (e.g., OEKO-TEX)

    China Food Safety Collaboration Center Product Safety Program technology investments