Walmart's 2018 CSR report: 20mn tonne reduction in emissions, sustainable sourcing and more
US grocery giant Walmart has managed to reduce emissions throughout its supply chain by 20mn tonnes in a year, according to its latest report.
Walmart, which is currently the largest retailer in the world, states that suppliers reduced their collective greenhouse gas emissions by over 20mn tonnes in 2017.
The company announced a series of sustainability goals in 2016 and has said it aims to cut supply chain emission by 1bn tonnes by 2030.
400 of the company’s global suppliers made commitments to reduce their emissions as part of Walmart’s Project Gigaton. The suppliers have utilised an “emissions reduction toolkit” produced by WWF which details steps to take to cut emissions including in manufacturing, materials and product use.
The latest CSR report from the company is the 11th iteration and was published on Friday. Aside from a lower emission supply chain, the company also cited that it has increased its renewable energy portfolio. It aims to be powered by 50% renewable energy sources by 2025 and is well on the way with its 2017 figure standing at 28%.
Walmart has also committed to a ‘zero waste’ goal, and has reported that by the end of the last financial year, 78% of its global waste was successfully diverted from landfill. In addition, the company set out to source 100% of seafood from sustainable suppliers (either fully certified by a third party, working toward certification, or engaged in fishery improvement projects). It has now achieved this goal of 100% for its wild-caught fish and 98% for farmed fish.
On the company’s website, Kathleen McLaughlin, CSO at Walmart, outlines Walmart’s commitment. “Our approach to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues goes beyond minimising our own footprint or mitigating risk. We take a more assertive approach: sparking collective action to transform the retail sector for environmental, social and economic stability.”
Walmart has around 2.3mn employees and its most recently reported revenue stands at over $500bn. Recently, the supermarket chain has been making a splash in the world of ecommerce, having purchased Indian online grocer Flipkart and signed a deal with Japanese ecommerce company Rakuten earlier this year.
Gartner: Women in supply chain at five-year high
Women now represent a greater percentage of the supply chain workforce than at any other point in at least the past five years, according to a recent Gartner survey.
The Women in Supply Chain Survey 2021, conducted by Gartner and Awesome, surveyed 223 supply chain organisations with more than $100m in annual revenue from February through to the end of March 2021.
- Women represent 2% more of supply chain workforce than in 2020
- Women now account for 42% of the workforce
- Number of women in exec-level positions declined by 2%
- Just 15% of top leadership are women (17% in 2020)
- 84% of organisations say COVID-19 did not impact efforts to advance women
It found that women now represent two per cent more of the supply chain workforce than in 2020, accounting for 42%, compared with 39% last year. Dana Stiffler, Vice President Analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice, says the impact of COVID-19 on supply chain was significant, though different to other sectors.
"Contrary to other industries, supply chain’s mission-criticality during the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many sectors did not reduce their workforce, but rather continued to hire and even faced talent shortages, especially in the product supply chains," she said. "This resulted in many women not only standing their ground in supply chain organisations but increasing their representation in organisations. We also recorded a record number of specific commitments and supply chain-led actions and saw existing programs starting to pay off."
Supply chain still lacks women in executive leadership
But the elephant in the boardroom remains. Though the figures present a positive step towards greater diversity and gender equality at all levels, the number of women in executive level positions declined by two per cent in the past year. Women represent just 15% of the upper echelons of supply chain leadership. Gartner did however record a rise in women at all other levels of leadership.
The vast majority (84%) of organisations surveyed said the outbreak had no discernible impact on their ability to retain and advance women. But more than half (54%) admitted that retaining mid-career women was becoming increasingly difficult. A lack of career opportunities was cited as the biggest challenge to this, while other blamed a lack of development opportunities.
Despite these challenges, companies of all sizes are becoming broadly better at gender diversity. Around a third more said they had a targeted initiative focused on attracting women and advancing their careers.
Stiffler said a push towards measurable and formal initiatives is at least pointing in the right direction: “It's encouraging to see that the larger share of this jump was for more formal targets and specific goals on management scorecards. For these respondents, there is greater accountability for results — and we see the correlation with stronger representation and inclusion showing up in pipelines.”