Establishing New Sourcing Goals
" Few challenges in our world today are more pressing than protecting the environment, and in China, Wal-Mart has a unique opportunity to lead."
Wal-Mart Sustainability Summit — Beijing 2008
On October 22, 2008, our Company took the next step in our efforts to become a more sustainable company by hosting a gathering of more than 1,000 leading suppliers, Chinese officials and non-governmental organizations in Beijing, China. There, we outlined a series of aggressive goals and expectations to help build a more environmentally and socially responsible global supply chain.
These commitments raise the bar for our entire organization and impact every aspect of how we operate, including the way we build relationships with our suppliers. To help our suppliers reach these goals, we will:
- Build the strongest and most enduring relationships with those suppliers who reach for the highest standards. Those who share our goals, who innovate, who become more efficient and who drive compliance and sustainable practices throughout their own businesses will be more likely to share in our business growth.
- Work with stakeholders to share knowledge, provide more training, and bring in local and regional stakeholders to help develop responsible practices.
- Collaborate with peers to establish uniform ethical and environmental audit processes and standards that will allow us to maintain our program consistent with industry best practices.
Standards for Suppliers
At Wal-Mart, we are taking a number of steps to further strengthen and enforce supplier compliance with social and environmental standards. We are revising our supplier agreement, which will require all direct import, non-branded and private label suppliers to declare their factory's compliance with local laws and regulations in the communities where they operate, as well as to demonstrate compliance with rigorous social and environmental standards.
As a company, we strive to conduct our business in a manner that reflects our three key beliefs — respect for the individual, service to our customers and striving for excellence. Holding the same expectations of our suppliers in contracting, subcontracting and other business relationships is one way we believe we can be a more responsible company and a better advocate for the men and women in our suppliers' factories who manufacture the products we sell.
We are also refining our Standards for Suppliers, which promulgate the fundamental expectations we have for our business relationships. The refinements will include incorporating in our standards the standards set forth in the Global Social Compliance Program (GSCP) reference code, which establishes a common set of global reference standards for working conditions and labor rights for factories.
We expect it will be written in a simplified format and will be strengthened by robust discussions that clearly define our expectations of our suppliers and the factories they use. For example, the standards will clearly state that we will not tolerate the use of child labor. We will elaborate on that standard by explaining that we will not work with factories that use workers under the age of 14, nor under the minimum age specified by local law, if local law is higher than 14. Once the standards refinements are completed, they will be posted to Wal-Mart's website.