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:
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.
Notes to editors
Guided by our values, we've set ourselves 20 challenging sustainability targets to reach by 2020.