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BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. yesterday released a 90-page report of its "sustainability efforts," which includes broad initiatives to improve the environment, health care, diversity, and sourcing; and the work of its foundation.
The report is structured as a scorecard on key metrics. "This report lays out where we have come from in the last two years and how we have become a better company and a better business," said president and c.e.o. Lee Scott in a statement. "We are proud of the good progress we are making in a number of areas and we understand that we still have more work to do. For the future of our business and of the world, we remain committed to becoming a more sustainable company."
In an October 2005 speech titled "Twenty-First Century Leadership," Wal-Mart had committed to three sustainability goals: to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy, to create zero waste, and to sell products that sustain resources and the environment.
Since then, the retailer has strived for a companywide emphasis on sustainability, an initiative it calls "Sustainability 360."
In an introduction letter to the report, Scott said Wal-Mart has found that "there is no conflict between our business model of everyday low costs and everyday low prices and being a more sustainable business. To make sustainability sustainable at Wal-Mart, we've made it live inside our business. Many of our environmental sustainability efforts, for example, mean cost savings for us, our suppliers, and our customers, so that in both good times and bad times, they will remain part of who we are."
The report has already received mixed responses from environmentalists and socially concerned investors who argue that the company didn't provide enough measurable data, according to a report in the Financial Times.
The report can be viewed at http://walmartstores.com/sustainabilityprogress.