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John Lewis Partnership plc Sustainability Review 2014


The continuing increase in the number of middle-class consumers in India and China is of huge significance. There will be many more companies around the world competing for the same products and that could have a profound effect on what we are able to offer consumers. Naturally, this growth in demand presents many commercial opportunities, but we will need to continue to innovate and act quickly with our supply chains if we are to capture them. Greater connectivity between the consumer, business and beyond is fundamentally changing the way people shop.

Planning to ensure

an appropriate response Of course, like any business, we have to prioritise. Crucially, we need to know where we can pioneer and lead the rest of the retail sector. We need to concentrate on the areas that are of greatest threat to our business and on those that offer the most commercial opportunity.

We already prioritise a number of areas – for example, for many years, Waitrose has been sustainably sourcing British produce; while John Lewis has been putting considerable effort into helping customers to choose more sustainable products and to live more sustainably – but we can always be more ambitious.

For 2014/15, we are introducing a sustainability materiality assessment process to update our views of the issues that are most material to our business, so that we can better set our priorities and then plan and invest accordingly. This materiality review will involve interviews with senior management across the Partnership, as well as our key stakeholders, to understand what matters most to them, to the business and to wider society.

Given the importance of these issues, we have also brought our Annual Report and Accounts into closer alignment with our Sustainability Review. This year, we are publishing them at the same time, with more shared content than ever before, to promote “integrated thinking” within the Partnership. Next year, to advance this, we will combine the two documents. After that, our ambition is to produce a fully integrated report – to demonstrate that the Partnership’s performance story and our sustainability story are the same. This will provide everyone interested in the Partnership’s future – Partners, suppliers, customers, non-governmental organisations, financiers, communities and the media – with an engaging report that will show how we are meeting the goals set out by John Spedan Lewis all those years ago.


The Partnership aims to conduct all its business relationships with integrity and courtesy, and scrupulously to honour every business agreement.

FACING GREAT CHALLENGES The business landscape looks very different today to the time when John Spedan Lewis wrote the Constitution. It will be as different again in the future.

“For 2014/15, we are introducing a sustainability materiality assessment across the Partnership that will help us to identify and prioritise the issues our business and our customers are facing.”






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