Sainsbury’s has been awarded the top spot in the retail sector for its ambitious work on sustainability by the FTSE4Good Index.
The score in the independent, highly regarded index evaluates participating businesses from around the globe against key social, environmental and governance practices. Sainsbury’s achieved an absolute score of 4.4 out of five, against a global sector average of around 2.43, making it not only a leader in its sector but in the top tier of all the businesses taking part.
The retailer also scored a five for its work on climate change, which is considered ‘best practice’ in the sector.
Stuart Wright, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Sainsbury’s, said: “Last year we set out ambitious sustainability commitments in our 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan. This accolade is a great endorsement of the progress we’re already making.”
Sainsbury’s published its 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan in October 2011. This industry-leading plan is built into Sainsbury’s business strategy and sets out 20 targets to be achieved by 2020.
The commitments address four key areas of focus:
- Sustainable and Healthy Products – including Best for British: By 2020, we’ll double the amount of British food we sell
- Operational Excellence – including operational carbon emission reduction: By 2020, we’ll have reduced our operational carbon emissions by 30 per cent absolute and 65 per cent relative, compared with 2005.
- Colleagues – including 20 years service: By 2020, 20,000 of our colleagues will have reached 20 years service at Sainsbury’s.
- Communities – including new jobs and skills: By 2020, we’ll create 50,000 new jobs in the UK.
Sainsbury’s goal is to be a leader in sustainability and ethics. The company has transformed the market for Fairtrade products, becoming the world’s largest Fairtrade retailer. It is also the largest retailer of MSC certified fish and RSPCA Freedom Food certified products. Sainsbury’s also has a long track record of pursuing climate change and biodiversity strategies, and championing community investment, not least through its support for Comic Relief and the Paralympic Games.
Initiatives include using carbon-saving technologies for new and existing stores that will drive down energy usage, thereby reducing energy costs. There is also be an increased focus on providing customers with more British food as the company seeks to double the amount it currently sells.
Sainsbury’s 20 by 20 Sustainability commitments are:
Sourcing with Integrity
- We’ll source all of our key raw materials and commodities sustainably to an independent standard.
- Our own brand products won’t contribute to global deforestation.
- All the fish we sell will be independently certified as sustainable and we’ll strengthen our position as the leading retailer for sustainable seafood.
- Our sales of fairly traded products will hit £1 billion.
- We’ll double the amount of British food we sell.
- All our meat, poultry, eggs, game and dairy products will be sourced from suppliers who adhere to independent higher welfare standards.
- Our suppliers will also be leaders in meeting or exceeding our social and environmental standards.
Best for food and health
- We’ll continue to reduce salt, saturated fat, fat and sugar in our own brand products and we will lead on providing clear nutritional information, enabling our customers to make informed choices.
- We’ll double the sales of lighter alcohol wine and reduce the average alcohol content (ABV) of own brand wine and beer.
Respect for our Environment
- We’ll put all waste to positive use.
- We’ll make sure that our own packaging has been reduced by a half compared to 2005.
- We’ll have reduced our operational carbon emissions by 30 per cent absolute and 65 per cent relative, compared with 2005.
- Through robust water stewardship, we’ll ensure that our supply chain approach is sustainable in areas of water vulnerability.
- We’ll have worked with our own brand suppliers to reduce carbon emissions across all of our own brand products by 50 per cent relative.
Making a positive difference to our community
- We’ll have encouraged over 20 million children to enjoy physical activity in the decade.
- We’ll have donated over £400 million to charitable causes in the decade.
A great place to work
- We’ll create 50,000 new job opportunities in the UK and at least half of our colleagues will have received externally accredited training.
- 20,000 of our colleagues will have reached 20 years of service at Sainsbury’s.
- We’ll increase the number of colleagues with shares in our business by 25 per cent.
- We’ll have provided 30,000 people from disadvantaged groups with work opportunities.