Corporate Social Responsibility & Wal-Mart

An overview of Wal-Mart. In 2005, parts of Louisiana had the worst flooding on record. Thousands of people’s lives were in danger and millions of Americans watched in horror as thousands of Americans were lying in the street without the essentials of life, some were clinging to roof tops, and lying in the streets without food, clothing or shelter. Wal-Mart saw the need to step in and help and reach out. ” Inspired by its role in helping Katrina victims, Wal-Mart looked at the impact a company its size could have throughout the world on a daily basis if it embraced corporate social responsibility” (CSR). Ferdinand p. 1) Recently, Haiti and Chili were hit with devastating earthquakes. Who is responsible to help? Wal-Mart felt socially responsible to help. Each business is responsible for having a code of conduct and acting in accordance of its economics, commercial and social goals. Ethical standards should be a part of all businesses. The goal is to practice ethical behavior and always have an intention to being honest, fair and truthful. This is being socially responsible.
Social Responsibility is: “Obligation of an organization’s management towards the welfare and interests of the society which provides it the environment and resources to survive and flourish, and which is affected by the organization’s actions and policies” (Business dictionary). Walmart has accepted social responsibility as a part of its organization. It has worked very hard in the past several years to show how it is not just responsible for its employees, but it is also socially responsible to help a society that needs its products and services on many levels.
Jag will explain the policies and procedures of social responsibility. Wal-Mart’s mission statement: “Saving people money, so they can live better” speaks to the value that Walmart places in corporate social responsibility. Walmart has a philosophy of operating globally while giving back locally. According to Wal-Mart’s corporate website, Walmart provides “financial and volunteer support to more than 100,000 charitable and community-focused organizations”. The Walmart Foundation was developed to help support large and small organizations with programs that serve on state and national levels.

In addition to monetary giving and in-kind donations, Walmart has set responsible sourcing initiatives with its global suppliers to create meaningful and positive change, both environmentally and socially. For example, Walmart is requiring “all direct import suppliers to source 95 percent of their production from factories that receive one of two highest audit ratings for social and environmental practices. ” Furthermore, Walmart uses an approach called “Sustainability 360” which is a business strategy developed to minimize waste, increase efficiency and find ways to support communities and suppliers that make the business successful.
This approach involves redesigning its stores to be more energy efficient and produce lower greenhouse gas emissions, reducing its carbon footprint from its fleet of trucks, reducing plastic bag waste by offering reusable bags, encouraging suppliers to develop more environmentally friendly packaging of products to help reduce waste, and even training its Ethical Sourcing auditors to be tasked with supplier development, or special investigation functions. Furthermore, Walmart carries energy efficient products that are good for the environment, and ultimately help consumers save on energy bills.
These products are featured in weekly promotions to help create awareness and educate on energy efficiency. For a company the size of Walmart, the need to be socially responsible is vital is sustaining business. Work Referenced: Business Dictionary. (2010) Social Responsibility. Retrieved December 6, 2010, from http://www. businessdictionary. com/definition/social-responsibility. html Ferdinand, A. (2007) Wal-Mart determined to lead in Corporate responsibility. Retrieved December 6, 2010, http://www. mccombs. utexas. edu/news/pressreleases/Blackwell07. asp

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