Responsible Sourcing

Sourcing Standards & Resources

Driving change through high standards and factory audits. Learn how we verify suppliers are adhering to these requirements.

Standards for Suppliers

The safety and well-being of workers across our supply chain is important to Walmart. Our Standards for Suppliers, along with our Standards for Suppliers Manual, make clear our fundamental expectations for suppliers and factories. All suppliers and their facilities – including subcontracting and packaging facilities – are expected to uphold these standards.
Recent important updates to our Standards for Suppliers Manual include:

  • Factory Visibility and Disclosure
  • All facilities within the scope of Walmart’s Responsible Sourcing program must be disclosed to us and available for a Responsible Sourcing audit. Suppliers found to be producing merchandise in an unauthorized facility or subcontracting to an unauthorized facility may lose the ability to do business with Walmart.  Learn more about our disclosure requirements here
  • Company representatives
  • Suppliers are required to designate employees who are responsible for facility compliance with applicable laws and standards. The designated employees must have sufficient visibility into facility operations to verify compliance at the facility level.
  • Life and fire safety requirements
  • As part of our effort to work with suppliers to improve facility conditions related to risk of fire, we've made several modifications to our protocol for auditing and assessing facilities. Facilities found to have serious life and fire safety-related violations are expected to take corrective action.
  • Suppliers are required to display our Standards for Suppliers in all facilities where products are made for us. The Standards must be displayed in the language spoken by the majority of workers so they know our expectations of suppliers and factory management. Translations of both the Standards for Suppliers and the Standards for Suppliers Manual are provided on this website, with additional languages available to suppliers on Retail Link.

Worker helpline

We believe the worker voice plays a key role in driving safety and well-being across the supply chain. That’s why we require facilities within the scope of the Responsible Sourcing program to display a toll-free phone number, e-mail address and website where workers can anonymously report concerns in their local language.

Contact methods

• Online:  www.walmartethics.com
• Email: ethics@wal-mart.com
• Phone: +1 (800) WM-ETHIC

Audit Process

Audit Process

We use detailed social, safety and environmental compliance audits to evaluate whether a facility’s practices meet the requirements in our Standards for Suppliers:

· Workers are properly paid for all labor hours

· All labor is voluntary

· Producers comply with all employment age laws and standards

· Working hours are not excessive and are consistent with local laws and standards

· Factories meet health and safety standards

Any facility disclosed to Walmart may be subject to an audit at any time; nevertheless, we allocate our auditing resources based on the risk level of the country in which a facility is located.

Walmart typically requires disclosed facilities subject to audit to obtain a Walmart Responsible Sourcing audit. However, we are currently transitioning our program to accept audits conducted by independent third-party audit programs in place of the Walmart Responsible Sourcing audit; Walmart therefore may request that certain suppliers obtain a third-party audit instead of a Walmart Responsible Sourcing audit. Read more about both types of audits below.

In both cases, we use audit results to help us make decisions regarding suppliers and facilities. Facility audit results are sent to each supplier using that facility, and it is the suppliers’ responsibility to work with facilities to remediate audit findings.

Read more about our disclosure requirements, risk-based approach to auditing, and how we hold suppliers accountable here:

Walmart Responsible Sourcing Audits

The Walmart Responsible Sourcing audit includes:

· A detailed document review, including licenses, permits and records relating to labor, employment and pay practices

· Visual inspection of the premises

· Confidential worker interviews

Walmart Responsible Sourcing audits normally are unannounced and conducted at facilities by third-party audit firms according to protocols established by Walmart. Facilities are re-audited at a frequency based on the severity of previous findings. Results are assigned a color rating based on the type and severity of issues found.

As of February 2017, Walmart uses the following independent and internationally recognized firms to conduct Walmart Responsible Sourcing audits in facilities around the world: Accordia, Bureau Veritas, Elevate, Intertek, UL, SGS, TUV.

Additional information about Walmart Responsible Sourcing audits is available on the following topics:

Transitioning to a Third-Party Audit Approach

Beginning mid-2017, Walmart suppliers will be notified of a new requirement to obtain an audit from a third-party social compliance audit program instead of a traditional Walmart Responsible Sourcing audit. Walmart believes that transitioning to a third-party audit approach will allow us to focus our program resources on further developing impactful approaches to key global supply chain compliance issues.

Although our audit approach is changing, Walmart still expects suppliers to comply with our Standards for Suppliers. We will continue to evaluate audit reports, notify suppliers and facilities of identified issues, and expect suppliers to remediate those issues. Non-compliances and failure to remediate remain grounds for consequences for suppliers and facilities, up to and including termination of the supplier’s business relationship with Walmart and/or a facility’s ability to produce goods for sale at Walmart.

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