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Encouraging sustainable living

With our broad product offering, we affect our customers’ lives in many ways and so it’s our responsibility to help them to choose quality products and services that offer ways to live a more sustainable life.


This involves making sure our products are sourced and manufactured responsibly (see Responsible Sourcing); helping customers to reduce their waste through reuse and recycling; increasing our sustainable product ranges; and educating customers about making more sustainable choices. In 2011, we will make more product information available online, in literature, on packaging and on point-of-sale material that will help customers to do this.


The product lifecycle

We care about where our products come from and how they are made – and so do our customers. By understanding product lifecycles, we can give customers information about product provenance, quality and sustainability. With this in mind, we are investigating how we can make products more sustainable throughout their lifecycle.


Sourcing raw materials

We aim to source the raw materials that we use sustainably, and some key areas we are focusing on include timber, paper and cotton.


Timber and paper

We have traced the forest origin of wooden garden furniture since 2003 and we are making good progress against our commitment to extend this programme to all wood products, including pulp and paper. For example, all John Lewis ownbrand paper and card primary packaging is now made from either recycled or FSC-certified materials. During 2010, we reviewed our timber programme to ensure the responsible sourcing of all our wood products and to see where we could be more ambitious.


As a result, we improved our traceability programme to offer customers a greater range of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified products and set ourselves specific targets:


• 100% of timber in our outdoor living furniture to remain FSC-certified, and we aim to source 50% of our ownbrand indoor furniture from FSC-certified sources by 2015

• all John Lewis own-brand paper-based products to be made from recycled material, FSC-certified or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) sources by the end of 2012.



We recognise our responsibilities to improving working conditions in our cotton supply chains. We are currently working with an external organisation to develop a sustainable cotton farmer training programme. This programme aims to educate conventional cotton farmers in India on more sustainable farming methods and in doing so hopes to reduce their production costs and improve their livelihoods.


We are members of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Sustainable Clothing Roadmap which aims to improve the sustainability of clothing, and the British Retail Consortium Clothing Working Group to promote change across UK retailers.


Sustainable manufacturing

The recessionary climate in the UK inevitably had an impact on our targets to increase Fairtrade, organic, Green Living, recycled and sustainable raw material product lines. Our customers expect John Lewis to offer these types of products at market-leading value. We are looking at how to help customers live more sustainable lives and our targets will change to reflect our future priorities.


• We have a Fairtrade licence to produce and import John Lewis own-brand Fairtrade cotton products. We are also exploring how else we can make Fairtrade items work successfully in our product ranges.

• We sell responsibly sourced brands such as People Tree clothing and Made jewellery (pictured above).

• We increasingly source our own-brand products from UK manufacturers and we plan to actively source more British products where possible, especially where design and quality are at the forefront of the product.



Quality, long-lasting products

• Researching what ‘value’ means to our customers indicates that it increasingly includes sustainability of raw materials and longevity of product life.

• In 2011, we introduced our most energy-efficient collection of large appliances. All our own-brand large electrical appliances are A-rated or above for energy efficiency, and come with a three-year guarantee.


End of life:

Recycling or reusing

• We offer a mattress and divan recycling service for our customers, and are exploring opportunities to extend this to other areas such as furniture and carpets.

• We provide in-store recycling facilities for batteries.

• We support the recycling of electrical and electronic equipment by funding the Distributor Take-Back Scheme.

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