This Sustainability Commitment explains the efforts and steps we are taking to achieve our global sustainability goals. This includes updates for our fiscal year 2022. With nearly 850 warehouses around the world, we understand the impact we have on environmental and sustainability issues globally. Through focusing on initiatives such as our Climate Action Plan and our STAR program for our operators, we believe we can play a positive role in helping the world face these most pressing issues. While we see progress in many areas, we are committed to continuous improvement across all elements of our business: people and communities, operations and merchandise. As always, we thank our employees, suppliers, members and the communities where we operate for their continuing support as we work together to help our world thrive.
— Craig Jelinek, CEO
Mission Statement & Our Code of Ethics
At Costco, our mission is to continually provide our members with quality goods and services at the lowest possible prices. In striving for our mission, we follow our Code of Ethics:
- Obey the law
- Take care of our members
- Take care of our employees
- Respect our suppliers
- Reward our shareholders
Our Sustainability Principles & Objectives
We believe sustainability is doing the right thing for our members, our employees, our suppliers, our shareholders, our communities and the environment while being mindful of our impact on our people and the world. We have an obligation and responsibility to do our part.
We have three guiding principles that drive our approach to address some of the world’s most complex problems:
- For Costco to thrive, the world must thrive — we are committed to doing our part
- We focus on issues related to our business and where we can contribute to real, results-driven positive impact
- We do not have all the answers, are learning as we go and seek continuous improvement
Focus SDGs & Costco’s Priorities
We recognize that sustainability can be defined extremely broadly. Thus, we have chosen to narrow our focus on areas that are closely aligned with our business. In particular, we have identified seven of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to prioritize:
For more information on our key performance indicators, please see the attached chart.
Our Holistic Approach & Pillars of Sustainability
We have aligned our sustainability efforts and initiatives with the way we structure and think about our business, which is a holistic and integrated approach to sustainability. Three primary pillars drive our initiatives, all of which are supported by our Climate Action Plan at the foundation:
In each of our pillars, we have a framework and a set of initiatives that will help us reach our sustainability goals. We have also taken important steps in the areas of sustainability Governance, Reporting and Education to support these efforts.
We continue to incorporate sustainable practices in our business. Our practices are evolving over time, as we learn more and adapt to our ever-changing world, and we update our Commitment to reflect these changes. The data reported is compiled from sources that we believe are reasonable to rely on at the time of publication, may change as new information becomes available and will be restated if necessary in future reports.
Our Resources & Updates page provides an archive of our previous years’ Commitments only as a matter of convenience to users, who may wish to compare them over time. These historical Commitments are superseded in their entirety by the current version of the Commitment and should not be relied upon as currently accurate disclosures or otherwise. You can also find a consolidated version of this current Commitment, updated in December 2022, on the Resources & Updates page.
For questions or more information, please contact Costco Customer Service.
Many statements contained in this document are aspirational and relate to the manner in which the Company currently seeks or intends to conduct certain of its activities, based on management's current plans and expectations. These statements are not promises, guarantees, or statements on which you should rely with respect to the Company's conduct or policies, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, some of which may be material and/or beyond the Company's control. In addition, certain statements contained in this document constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. For these purposes, forward-looking statements are statements that address activities, events, conditions or developments that the Company expects or anticipates may occur in the future. In some cases forward-looking statements can be identified because they contain words such as "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "likely," "may," "might," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "seek," "should," "target," "will," "would," or similar expressions and the negatives of those terms. Such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual events, results or performance to differ materially from those indicated by such statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, domestic and international economic conditions, including exchange rates, the effects of competition and regulation, uncertainties in the financial markets, consumer and small business spending patterns and debt levels, breaches of security or privacy of member or business information, conditions affecting the acquisition, development, ownership or use of real estate, capital spending, actions of vendors, rising costs associated with employees (generally including health-care costs), energy and certain commodities, geopolitical conditions (including tariffs and the Ukraine conflict), the ability to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, COVID-19 related factors and challenges, including (among others) the duration of the pandemic, the unknown long-term economic impact, reduced shopping due to illness, travel restrictions or financial hardship, shifts in demand away from discretionary or higher-priced products, reduced workforces due to illness, quarantine, or government mandates, temporary store closures due to reduced workforces or government mandates, or supply-chain disruptions, and other risks identified from time to time in the Company’s public statements and reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and the Company does not undertake to update these statements, except as required by law.