Walmart Highlights Efforts to Benefit APEC Economies

2013-10-07 08:23 2190

- Nearly 75,000 women empowered through training and education across APEC Economies

- Over 8,000 of Walmart's 10,900 stores located in APEC economies

- Over 1.8 million of Walmart's 2.2 million associates work in APEC economies

- 21% of energy needs globally already sourced from renewable energy

BALI, Indonesia, Oct. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- "Walmart is making strong progress in APEC markets as we continue our global growth. Many of the key priorities of the APEC forum are strikingly similar to those of Walmart. For example, supporting the economic empowerment of women, increasing the speed and efficiency in both our supply chain and our sourcing operations, adding new stores and infrastructure, playing a leadership role in food security and sustainability -- these are all shared goals that are not only critical to Walmart's success, but to people, communities and entire economies alike . We believe these priorities are critical in delivering on our mission -- which is to help customers save money and live better," shared Scott Price, President and CEO, Walmart Asia at the APEC CEO Summit in Bali, Indonesia. Price also serves as Chairman of the National Center for APEC, after being elected to the post in May 2013.

Priority 1: Women's Economic Empowerment
Since launching its Women's Economic Empowerment initiative in 2011, Walmart has embarked on a multi-pronged approach to help women advance economically worldwide. Across APEC economies, Walmart has supported nearly 75,000 women to gain job skills and other training in the US, Mexico, China, Chile and Brazil.

Walmart's international goals include:

  • Increasing sourcing from women-owned businesses;
  • Training 26,000 women for factory jobs in markets including China, Bangladesh and India; and
  • Training and empowering 500,000 female farmers in China, Latin America and India

Two noteworthy recent projects in APEC economies include:

  • Walmart Japan's grants and in-store donations to J'espere, a non-profit organization that supports mothers affected by the 2011 earthquake. Thus far, the Tohoku Kosodate project has helped over 5,000 mothers and babies through consultative sessions by professional midwives and home visits offering medical or psychological support.
  • Walmart Foundation's donation to the American Red Cross that will help 2,500 students receive training for entry-level healthcare careers in the US.

Priority 2: Supply chain efficiency and global sourcing
Walmart continues to improve the efficiency of its supply chain, sourcing high quality and competitive merchandise from more than 70 countries around the world. Among these are 12 APEC economies, including Australia, Canada, Chile, mainland China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Taiwan, Thailand, the US and Vietnam.

Some great examples of product flows Walmart has enabled within APEC economies include:

  • Great Value Nuts, processed in three locations around the US: exported to Mexico and China
  • Chile Great Value Cranberries: exported to Mexico
  • Great Value Ice Cream, produced in Iowa: exported to Chile and Japan
  • Parent's Choice diapers, produced in Texas: exported to Chile
  • Fresh beef (Tyson & Cargill) from Nebraska and Colorado: exported to Japan
  • Grapes from Chile: exported to Japan and China
  • Apparel from Malaysia and Indonesia, horticulture and accessories from Thailand, home furnishings from Vietnam and produce from Peru: all exported to the US and other markets.

Priority 3: Infrastructure
With over 8,000 of its stores in APEC economies, Walmart has made sizeable investments in infrastructure, such as distribution centres and related logistics, across the markets in which it operates. The company employs over 1.8 million people in APEC member states, equal to more than 80% of its global workforce.

In living up to its Every Day Low Price promise, Walmart has saved its customers billions of dollars, USD 2.3 billion on fresh fruits and vegetables in the US alone, since 2011. Also in the US, Walmart recently opened 86 stores in neighbourhoods with limited access to nutritious produce.

Priority 4: Food security
In the US, Walmart was the first partner of Feeding America to donate one billion meals. In Japan, Walmart partners with Second Harvest to donate food from 52 stores and by 2016 will expand this program to over 150 outlets.

In China, as part of a sustained effort to ensure the safety of its fresh and packaged food products, Walmart China launched the Mobile Lab program, a first of its kind initiative that outfits customised vans with highly advanced food safety inspection technology, and staffs them with specialists trained in food science and technology, biology, chemistry and agriculture. The program has served 33 stores in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan and is now being extended to cover more than 70 stores across all of Guangdong Province. In May 2013, Walmart China announced a pledge to invest RMB100 million towards further strengthening food safety management over the next three years.

Priority 5: Environmental sustainability
Worldwide, Walmart has more than 180 renewable energy projects in operation or development, generating enough energy to power the equivalent of 78,000 US homes annually. This means that renewable energy already provides 21% of Walmart's worldwide electricity needs.

In Mexico, 348 stores are supplied by wind power that provides 17% of Walmart Mexico's energy needs, reducing carbon emissions by an estimated 137,240 tons annually. In Asia, through energy reduction initiatives, the sourcing of renewable energy and the training of its associates on energy best practices, Walmart stores in China and Japan reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 11.3% and 20% respectively in 2012 compared to a 2005 baseline.

Looking ahead, Walmart is in the process of testing onsite micro-wind, large-scale wind, solar water heating, as well as solar thermal in markets including Canada, Chile, China, Mexico and the US. In addition, the company has stated a goal to install LED lighting in all of its stores worldwide, reducing energy consumption related to lighting by 50%, and reducing overall in-store energy consumption by 15-17%.

"One of the key overriding themes APEC economies strive for is sustainable and inclusive growth, which is something that Walmart not only relates to, but very much strives for too. The APEC CEO Summit provides an unparalleled platform to discuss, exchange ideas and move these very important issues forward, and I look forward to the opportunity to share more about Walmart's progress and views during the Summit," concluded Price.

Source: Walmart Asia
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