walmart & target esg report focuses on lgbtq+ pride issues
Recently, Target raged on conservatives. He showed his thoughts on LGBTQ+ pride merchandise. Do you want to know why this all happened?
Though the assumption is that the reason behind this ire is the result of ESG impact, it’s also worth looking at Target’s TGT -1.3% largest competitor, Walmart, to see if their 2022 ESG report reveals similar LGBTQ+ goals.
For you better understanding you can see the detailed Walmarts ESG report 2022.
Let’s see what ESG is.
It is a type of investing where factors beyond strictly financial matters are considered. It stands for Environmental, social, and governance, or ESG.
During this time publicly traded companies began adding ESG reports to their corporate documents. Because ESG investing has increased.
Though there are no reporting or standards available to highlight this report ESG.
The Commission of Securities and Exchange is currently finalizing the exact procedure of the report. The major problem is that social and governance relies on third-party organizations and only standards for the environmental aspect are available.
The social category is a big source of contention for authority. There are various factors of ESG, we can enlist some like- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, or DEI, program. And some policies target specific industries, And policies related to political attitudes are factors of ESG.
Companies can strengthen their ESG reports by implementing internal policies and programs. LGBTQ+ policies that support and advocate for the transgender community have come under fire more recently.
Companies emphasize rankings that are favorable to them and ignore those that are not. Companies will include goals in their ESG report on how they will improve if they are under pressure from large fund managers to raise a specific score. This was the case with Budweiser’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev.
With the release of a limited-edition Bud Lite can featuring transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, Budweiser became the first significant company to come under fire from conservatives. According to their 2022 ESG Report, they are focusing on LGBTQ+ issues and expanding their network of influencers to increase visibility. It follows logically from this that their ESG scores had some bearing on Mulvaney’s decision, if not entirely.
The next to be criticized for selling LGBTQ+ Pride merchandise was Target. Target received high marks for its stance on LGBTQ+ issues and its prior support of Pride, according to an analysis of its 2022 ESG Report. In response to the uproar, Target moved some of the clothing to alternative parts of the store while removing others altogether. Conservative organizations continue to boycott the store, and many are turning to Walmart as a substitute.
This begs the question of whether Walmart’s policies differ significantly from Target’s or whether Walmart has simply managed to stay out of the controversy thus far. Although it is questionable whether ESG is influencing LGBTQ+ support, the ESG reports do offer useful insight into the company’s history and desire image.
In terms of LGBTQ+ issues, Walmart’s and Target’s 2022 ESG Reports are strikingly similar. Both businesses received high rankings in DiversityInc’s Top Companies for LGBTQ Employees, the benchmark metric used in ESG reports to assess a company’s internal policies. Target was ranked #4 and Walmart was ranked #6 in their 2022 report.
On The Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, both businesses received a perfect score of 100.
A company may be subject to an additional 25% fine for actions that do not support the LGBTQ cause in addition to the CEI of 40% based on externally facing LQBTQ policies.
Donations to LGBTQ+ causes, refusal to donate to nonreligious organizations that discriminate based on LGBTQ+ issues, and support for gender transition are necessary for a perfect CEI score. Target gave $2.1 million to GLSEN, a charity that promotes LGBTQ+ inclusivity in schools, over ten years. Similarly to that, Walmart gave PFLAG, a charity that supports the LGBTQ+ community, $500,000 in 2021.
Walmart has a similar line of merchandise on its website, whereas the Target controversy started with its 2023 Pride merchandise.
In line with the ESG reports, Walmart also emphasizes products made by LGBTQ+-friendly businesses. Both businesses encourage the use of diverse suppliers that are at least 51% owned by “woman, minority, disabled veteran, person with a disability, or member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) community.”
Regarding LGBTQ+ issues in their ESG reports, Target & Walmart only differ in terms.
Their approaches to supporting the LGBTQ+ community are the same, as are their policies. In the end, it may just be a matter of luck that Target is the subject of conservative pushback while Walmart is avoided.