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20


John Lewis Partnership plc Sustainability Review 2014


THE BIGGER PICTURE


Our business was founded on strong principles. These still guide how we do business today.


In today’s uncertain world it’s increasingly important that we not only stay true to these principles, but also ensure they evolve with the changing landscape. Sustainability was integral to John Spedan Lewis’ vision and is central to the Partnership’s plans for the future.


The Constitution


and sustainability We are one of the few companies in the UK to be governed by a principles-based constitution. It is very clear about our responsibilities regarding the wellbeing of the communities in which we operate, as well as how we deal with suppliers and the way we impact the environment. Throughout its history, the Partnership has recognised the value of corporate citizenship. Indeed, our founder, John Spedan Lewis, was a noted environmentalist of his time, with a deep interest in the natural world, so good stewardship has always been part of our culture.


That said, there is no doubt that issues of environmental sustainability and social stability are becoming ever more important to our sales and profit, whether we are facing increasingly volatile commodity prices or ensuring we continue to recruit the best Partners. These are issues that will affect our long-term ability to generate profit. How we respond couldn’t be more vital.


The biggest challenges


Clearly, the challenges in our supply chain are extremely important to us. We supply a vast range of goods and services to our customers. We have almost 400,000 separate product lines listed across John Lewis and Waitrose – and each one has some form of environmental or social impact. To meet our customers’ expectations in the future, we know we have to increase our purchase of sustainably and ethically sourced products, including those certified and accredited as such.


In addition to this emerging challenge, climate change and managing our operational footprint has long been a priority. We’ve had a robust carbon plan in place for a number of years and we are seeing tangible returns from the investment we have put in. However, there are other hurdles ahead as, in recent years, the growth of our business has far exceeded all our expectations. This means we will have to look very carefully at how we meet the ambitious carbon targets we have in place.


Tracey Killen, Director of Personnel


“We’ve had a robust carbon plan in place for a number of years and we are seeing tangible returns from the investment we have put in.”


GOVERNED BY A CONSTITUTION Our Constitution is very clear on our responsibilities regarding our communities, our suppliers and the environment.


PRINCIPLE 7:


The Partnership aims to obey the spirit as well as the letter of the law and to contribute to the wellbeing of the communities where it operates.


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