Walmart claims that its mission is centered on helping people live better which not only applies to customers and associates, but also to the workers who make their products. Furthermore, all the products that Walmart offers to its customers are supposedly verified whether they are produced with dignity and respect for workers. In order to be accepted as Walmart’s supplier there are standards and obligations expected from suppliers. Following section examines closely what are the key standards that according to Walmart prevail within its global supply chain (Walmart, 2012).
Basic standards that Walmart’s suppliers are expected to meet have to be in the compliance with applicable national and/or local laws and regulations, including but not limited to those related to labour, immigration, health and safety and the environment. Key aspects of these include: a) Employment must be on voluntary basis any form of forced labour is prohibited b) Suppliers must provide workers with rest day and make sure that working hours are consistent with the law and not excessive c) Suppliers must implement hiring practices that accurately verify workers’ age and legal right to work in the country prior to the employment d) Freedom of association and collective bargaining
e) Suppliers must provide workers with a safe and healthy work environment f) Suppliers must comply with laws related to waste disposal, air emissions, discharges, toxic substances and hazardous waste disposal
In order to develop socially and environmentally responsible supply chain Walmart obliges its suppliers to regular unannounced 3rd party audits that aim to monitor and assess the working conditions, community impacts and environmental practices in its supply chain. The audit process includes a review and verification of the following (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2012):
a) Opening meeting
b) Factory tour