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Walmart says its ethics and compliance focus is part of its efforts to grow in this "new era of retail" and to position the business for sustainable growth and shareholder returns. So how is Walmart improving its approach to ethics and compliance?
An organized compliance staff
Walmart needed a clear, global view of its ethics and compliance issues. The company decided its ethics and compliance function should be consolidated into one global group, rather than establishing separate compliance teams that reported to its market or divisional business leaders. The company appointed chief ethics and compliance officers, as well as anti-corruption directors, within each of its retail markets.
The company organized them and their staff into one global organization; the teams were arranged to support but operate independently from local business management. The company gained a clearer view into ethics and compliance issues and increased consistency in its standards and processes.
Walmart has assigned 300 associates to monitor and track compliance across the company’s 56,000 licenses and permits.
Training for ethics leaders
In restructuring its ethics and compliance program, Walmart wanted each of its businesses to have both subject-matter experts and teams that were well trained and able to put policies into practice, given local conditions and laws. Walmart invested in a multi-year effort to appoint and train ethics and compliance associates throughout its business. Its dedicated ethics and compliance staff now numbers over 2,300 associates.
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