Wal-Mart Sustainability Report Suppliers 2011
|Company||Wal-Mart Stores Inc.|
|Filer||New York City Office of the Comptroller|
|Subject(s)||Supply Chain; Sustainability Reporting|
|Resolved Clause Summary||Suppliers to issue sustainability reports|
WHEREAS, the UN Global Compact asks companies to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, a set of core values in the areas of human rights, labor standards, the environment and anti-corruption; and
WHEREAS, the UN Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study 2010, "A New Era of Sustainability", found that CEOs reported the integration of sustainability issues into supply chains as the most significant performance gap in executing sustainability; and
WHEREAS, in order to ensure that workers in their supply chain are safe and treated fairly with respect and dignity, some companies have established a Supplier Code of Conduct by drawing on internationally recognized standards; and
WHEREAS, a study by Aaron Bernstein and Christopher Greenwald, "Benchmarking Corporate Policies on Labor and Human Rights in Global Supply Chains," (Pension and Capital Stewardship Project Labor and Work-Life Program Harvard Law School, Nov. 2009), found a significant gap between general policies against labor and human rights abuse and more detailed standards and enforcement mechanisms required to carry them out; and
WHEREAS, given the merit of the old adage, "What Gets Measured Gets Done", the long-term interests of shareholders would be better served if companies were to require their suppliers to establish performance goals on human and worker rights, and to measure and publicly report on performance using internationally recognized standards and measurement protocols; and
WHEREAS, in order to increase transparency and to improve performance, such reports should include non-compliance incidents, actions taken to remedy those incidents, and measures taken to contribute to the long-term prevention or mitigation of such incidents and other issues of concern;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: the shareholders request that the Board of Directors take the necessary steps to require that the Company's supplier(s) publish annually an independently verifiable sustainability report. Among other important disclosures, such report should include the supplier's objective assessments and measurements of performance on workplace safety, and human and worker rights, using internationally recognized standards, indicators and measurement protocols. In addition, a report should include incidents of non-compliance, actions taken to remedy those incidents, and measures taken to contribute to long-term prevention and mitigation.
Statement in Support
A company's best opportunity for early identification and mitigation of the risks posed by the human and labor rights violations of its suppliers is its development and rigorous implementation of a risk-management framework to enable its monitoring and verification of its suppliers' performance against internationally recognized standards of human and labor rights, using measurable and verifiable indicators of performance. An annual sustainability reporting requirement of its supplier(s) would strengthen the company's ability to assess its suppliers' performance, to hold its suppliers accountable, help to drive performance improvements, and enable investors to better understand and assess potential reputational and/or operational risks.