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Wal-Mart and Corporate Social Responsibility
Wal-Mart strives to be corporately responsible. Wal-Mart is one of the largest private employers in the United States and Canada and the largest in Mexico. It offers an average full-time hourly wages of $11.75, and provides 1.2 million employees with health insurance (Wal-Mart Corporate Facts, 2011). Wal-Mart pays above retail standards for employees that have little experience, low levels of skill, and often demand part-time work due to other commitments.
In addition to providing employment, health care and other benefits, Wal-Mart also provides Americans products at prices that "are 8 percent to 39 percent below the prices of its competitors" (Furman, 2006). This helps all customers, as overall costs are driven down by the company's masterful negotiation and sourcing techniques. The company works to provide responsible sourcing, utilizing suppliers that shares similar values, to provide safe, long lasting, quality products. This shows a responsibility to stakeholders throughout the supply chain.
In addition, Wal-Mart works on improving the quality of life in communities, by "creating zero landfill waste and selling products that sustain our environment" (Wal-Mart Corporate Facts, 2011). When Wal-Mart moves to a different location within a town it works diligently to fill the previous space with a different business to prevent urban blight. It also responds quickly to disasters and tragedy. In the case of Hurricane Katrina, Wal-Mart was "ready before FEMA was" (Barbaro, Gillis, 2005). Wal-Mart gave $624 million in charitable contributions last year (Wal-Mart, 2012) and routinely provides scholarships to hundreds of children each year.
Wal-Mart is "the world's largest retailer"(Wal-Mart, 2012) and as such it is critical the company works to "reduce environmental impact, conserve natural resources and sell more sustainable products" (Wal-Mart, 2012). The company's footprint is so large, that the impact of these...