Our promise to help customers Live Well For Less is
about more than just price. That's why we have a number of sustainability commitments. These commitments address important challenges and opportunities, so we deliver long-term value and values for customers, suppliers, colleagues and stakeholders.

  • Healthier Baskets

    Healthier Baskets

    Living healthier lives


    Our customers can trust that they can always choose nutritious and healthy food when they shop with us.


    Why is it important?

    With the number of diet related health issues facing society on the rise, including obesity and type 2 diabetes, we want to help our customers to live healthier lives. We have many opportunities to do this, from the work we do to offer healthier products, to how we help our customers make healthier choices more easily.

    What we're doing

    With more than 10,000 own-brand food and drink products, it’s important that we look at the best-selling lines to make a real difference to the healthiness of our customers’ baskets. In particular, the work we’ve done in reducing sugar across own-brand soft drinks is of a scale that can make a real impact on our customers’ sugar intake. We’ve delivered a sugar reduction of 2,459 tonnes per annum, focusing on products that customers are most concerned about, such as juice drinks and carbonated soft drinks, delivering better tasting, better for you products.

    Likewise, our Taste the Difference Prosecco Conegliano is our highest selling Taste the Difference line across food and drink. Our work to reduce the alcohol by volume ABV from 11 per cent to 10.5 per cent resulted in the removal of over 1 million units from our customers’ annual alcohol consumption. ABVs on own-brand wine is consistently and clearly positioned on the bottle’s front label to help customers use that information when choosing wine.

    This is a great example of our efforts to help customers by consistently leading the way on clear labelling. We were the first UK supermarket to adopt front-of-pack Multiple Traffic Light labelling in January 2005, and were early advocates of the universal approach to nutritional labelling. Our own-brand products are now fully compliant to the FIR legislation, having completed all the required labelling information updates ahead of the 13th December 2014 deadline. We’re continuing to use labelling to make life easier for customers, including clearer ‘freeze by date’ information and by removing potential allergens from a series of products, reducing the need for allergen warning labelling.

    What we'll do

    1. We’ll continue to reformulate our own-brand products to reduce salt, sugar and saturated fat.

    2. We’ll improve the nutrient profile of our own-brand food.

    3. We’ll improve the healthy balance of our customers’ food baskets.

    4. We’ll improve access and choice for customers with allergies and intolerances.

    5. We’ll double the sales of lighter alcohol wine (under 10.5 per cent ABV).


    Key achievements

    • >9b

      kcals removed per annum from our soft drinks range since 2014, through the reformulation of our own-brand high juice squash drinks, our by Sainsbury’s Cola & Lemonade, our juice drinks and our range of adult socialising drinks

    • 1m

      units removed from customers’ annual alcohol consumption, thanks to the reduction in ABV in our Taste the Difference Prosecco Conegliano

    • 1st

      UK retailer to apply front-of-pack Multiple Traffic Light labelling in January 2005

  • Raw Materials

    Raw Materials

    Sourcing with Integrity


    We’ll source our key raw materials sustainably to an independent standard.


    Why is it important?

    We source from over 60 countries, working with over 1,800 supplier sites to offer over 15,000 own-brand products to our customers. Our customers trust us to source in a way that addresses the collective impacts of these global value chains, economically, environmentally and socially. Our commitment to source key raw materials sustainably will help us continue to meet our customers’ expectations whist providing quality products both now and into the future.

    What we're doing

    As part of our commitment to sourcing with integrity, we've identified 35 key raw materials to source sustainably to an independent standard. In addition to our investment in the sustainable sourcing of raw materials, we have set out to create our own independent sustainability standards. Our standards address the gaps in the existing standards that are available to ensure we support across environmental, economic and social impacts. We have our first standard in place, for our farmed prawns. This standard works across our prawn farmers in Thailand and spans environmental factors including water quality through to social impact, worker welfare and the productivity levels of the business.

    To ensure that our own-brand products don't contribute to global deforestation, 93 per cent of the wood used in our own-brand products in 2014/15 (excluding nappies) was from recycled, PEFC or FSC certified sources with full chain of custody. We’ve helped raise money for the Woodland Trust for over 10 years since the launching Woodland free-range eggs in 2004. An on-pack donation from sales of eggs, chicken and turkey goes to the Woodland Trust to help plant millions of trees across the UK.

    What we'll do

    1. Each of our key raw materials are sourced sustainably to an independent standard.

    2. Our own-brand products will not contribute to global deforestation and we'll source all commodities which can cause deforestation (timber, palm, soya, beef, leather and biofuels) from the most sustainable sources.

    3. We’ll work with suppliers, farmers and growers (SFG) on improving the sustainability of their businesses.


    Key achievements

    • 1st

      Sainsbury’s Sustainability Standard in use for farmed prawns

    • 93%

      of wood used in our own-brand products in 2014/15 (excluding nappies) was from recycled PEFC or FSC Certified sources with full chain of custody.

    • £4.5m

      donated to the Woodland Trust since 2004

    • 2.5m

      trees planted in partnership with the Woodland Trust since 2004

    • 97%

      of palm oil used to manufacture Sainsbury’s brand products is now certified sustainable

    • 1st

      Major UK retailer to launch an own-brand washing-up liquid in the UK made with certifiable sustainable palm oil

  • Water

    Water

    Respect for our environment


    Through robust water stewardship, we’ll address and manage all areas of water vulnerability in our business.


    Why is it important?

    We all rely on fresh water to survive, it's the most precious natural resource in the world. As population increases, the pressure of water scarcity intensifies. Water is essential for our business and the supply chains we rely upon to thrive. Collectively we need to ensure the quality and availability of water through responsible resource management. Having achieved our original 50 per cent target, we’ve set ourselves a greater target to reach a 55 per cent relative reduction in water use compared to 2005/06.

    What we're doing

    Across our existing estate we’ve focused on accurate metering to identify any leaks – instead of waiting for increases in our bills. With our supply partners we've looked to source new technology and adopt new principles in the way we build new stores to reduce water use wherever possible.

    We now use 1 billion litres less water per year than in 2005/06, despite growing our sales area by 51 per cent during this period. Our Triple Zero stores (zero operational carbon, waste and water) at Weymouth and Leicester save an average of 80 per cent on consumption versus similar sized stores built in 2005/06, and they also work with local institutes to help them implement water saving initiatives. In fact, the water saved within local communities is more than the drinking water used by the stores, making the area net positive for water.

    In 2013, we were one of the first four organisations to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard for Water, which also made us the first retailer to obtain independent certification for our actions to measure, manage and reduce water use year on year.

    What we'll do

    1. We’ll improve the efficiency of water use in our operations.

    2. We’ll work collaboratively with water companies, NGOs (incl. BITC’s Water Task Force), local authorities and our neighbours to protect river basins and promote integrated water management.


    Key achievements

    • 1b

      litres of water saved in 2014/15 versus 2005/06 baseline

    • 81%

      less water consumption in our Triple Zero Weymouth and Leicester stores versus similar sized stores built in 2005/06

    • 54%

      lower relative water use than in 2005/06

    • 1st

      retailer to obtain independent certification, recognising taking action to measure, manage and reduce water use year on year

  • Commitment & Engagement

    Commitment & Engagement

    A Great Place to Work


    We’ll be an employer where colleagues love to work.


    Why is it important?

    We want to be an employer where colleagues love to work. Our colleagues have demonstrated their ability to adapt to meet our customers’ changing shopping needs and they will also be instrumental in delivering our Sustainability Plan. We want to support them in making the difference.

    What we're doing

    We’re committed to rewarding our colleagues for their great service. Our retail colleagues have received a four per cent pay increase, announced in August 2015 – our highest increase in over a decade. This means 137,000 colleagues are now paid an hourly rate of £7.36, above the National Living Wage and the current National Minimum Wage. We also offer a benefit package to colleagues, and 133,000 colleagues shared £50m in bonuses last year.

    The commitment and talent of our colleagues are critical to our success. They have been influential in our engagement with our communities, by supporting charitable causes and initiatives like our Local Heroes scheme. Plus, they have helped us achieve targets like zero waste to landfill and operational carbon reduction.

    Our efforts were recognised by 75 per cent of colleagues who voted Sainsbury’s as a great place to work in our 2014/15 engagement survey. Furthermore, we became the first food retailer to be awarded Gold accreditation by Investors in People in 2010, an accolade we continue to retain.

    What we'll do

    1. We’re committed to exceeding the National Living Wage proposal of £9 per hour and addressing the gender pay gap.

    2. We’ll understand our colleagues better than anyone else and engage colleagues in the long term success of our business.

    3. We’ll commit to invest in industry leading training and development for all of our colleagues.


    Key achievements

    • 75%

      of our colleagues voted Sainsbury’s as a great place to work in a 2014/15 survey

    • £7.36

      The new hourly rate for Sainsbury’s employees, which is above the National Living Wage and the current National Minimum Wage

    • 133,000

      colleagues shared £50 million in bonuses last year

    • 1st

      food retailer to be awarded Gold accreditation by Investors in People in 2010, an accolade we continue to retain.

  • Operational Carbon

    Operational Carbon

    Respect for our environment


    We’ll reduce our operational carbon emissions by 30% absolute and 65% relative (to 2005).


    Why is it important?

    There's extensive research and modelling of how climate change and associated volatility in weather patterns will impact our planet. We recognise that our shared objective must be to limit the average global surface temperature increase to two degrees centigrade, a figure that the evidence suggests will help mitigate climate change. Our ambition is to be the ‘Greenest Grocer’ and grow our business whilst reducing our operational carbon emissions. The shared nature of climate change also means that we support our suppliers, farmers and growers to understand and improve resource and carbon efficiency.

    What we're doing

    Our absolute operational carbon emissions decreased further by 0.5 per cent last year and we’re now 0.3 per cent lower than our 2005/06, baseline - despite our 51 per cent sales growth within the same period. Our ability to grow whilst reducing carbon emissions has been shown through innovations like our Cannock Store, which is not connected to the National Grid, along with the ten lorries that are currently trialling a new natural refrigerant gas, with 45 per cent less Global Warming Potential than our existing refrigerant.

    Our established programme of installing renewable energy across our estate includes 170,000 solar panels, 98 biomass boilers and 27 Ground Source Heat Pumps. We also rely upon the engagement of our colleagues. Through our award-winning ‘Greenest Grocer’ behaviour change programme, we reduced our electrical energy demand by 3 per cent last year, through simple actions like closing fridge doors and not over-filling freezers.

    What we'll do

    1. We’ll continue to introduce proven and next generation renewable technologies in our new and existing stores to reduce our operational carbon emissions.

    2. We’ll reduce the impact of refrigeration, by increasing the use of natural refrigeration in our stores.

    3. We’ll help colleagues save energy at home, and at work, by sharing information and ideas.


    Key achievements

    • 0.3%

      lower operational carbon emissions versus our 2005/06 baseline, with 51% growth in sales area during the same period

    • 45%

      lower Global Warming Potential in the new natural refrigerant gas currently being trialled by 10 lorries

    • 170,000

      solar panels supply 2% of our total power demand

    • 98

      biomass boilers provide 20% of heat demand

    • 27

      Ground Source Heat Pumps take care of 9% of heat demand

  • Community Impact

    Community impact

    Making a positive difference to our community


    We’ll support our local communities in relevant and impactful ways and donate over £400 million to charitable causes by 2020.


    Why is it important?

    We believe that business can make a positive difference to local communities through support for charitable causes. But it’s about much more than cash donations. Our stores are at the very centre of their communities and play a vital and positive role. The challenge is to bring business and the voluntary sector closer together, allowing our combined knowledge, skills and expertise to be put to good use for the maximum benefit of all.

    What we're doing

    We donated a total of £52 million to charities and good causes last year, including corporate donations to national charities like Comic Relief (£11.5 million), The Royal British Legion (£7 million), funds raised by stores for Local Charity partners (£1.8 million), and investment in community programmes such as Active Kids.

    Last year, we celebrated 20 years of partnership with The Royal British Legion. Our Christmas advert, made in partnership with the Legion, featured a commemorative chocolate bar that was sold in-store, with all profits going to the charity. One million bars of chocolate were produced, raising £500,000 for the Legion and culminating in approximately £7 million raised. We’ve also offered poppy recycling and exclusive food, general merchandise and floral products as part of our partnership with the Legion. This year we extended our partnership with the exclusive launch of stick-on poppies with online deliveries.

    Hundreds of our stores have Food Donation Partnerships, and last year we worked with our supplier, Faccenda, to donate nearly 10,000 turkeys to FareShare for Christmas. In 2014/15, we helped our suppliers donate 980 tonnes of surplus food to FareShare – 40 per cent up from the previous year.

    What we'll do

    1. We’ll continue to grow our Local Charity of the Year programme.

    2. We’ll develop our national partnerships with Comic Relief and The Royal British Legion.

    3. We’ll give back to local communities through volunteering, awareness-raising, Food Donation Partnerships and donations from our stores' Community Budgets. We’ll have active roles with groups that address issues relevant to our local communities including Community Alcohol Partnerships and Drinkaware.


    Key achievements

    • £52m

      donated to charities and good causes last year

    • 20

      years of partnership with The Royal British Legion

    • 10,000

      turkeys donated to FareShare in time for Christmas 2014

    • 980t

      of surplus food donated to FareShare last year

    • £167m

      donated to charities and good causes since 2011

  • Fairly Traded

    Fairly Traded

    Sourcing with integrity


    We’re committed to fairly traded products, investing in the sustainability of our suppliers, farmers, growers and workers within our supply chains internationally.


    Why is it important?

    We source from over 60 countries, around the world. This can be valuable to the income, working conditions, local sustainability and resilience of communities around the world. When we made the commitment to hit the £1 billion mark of fairly traded products, we knew it was an ambitious target. We’ve reviewed our commitment to fairly traded because our ambition is to do more than just drive sales. We’re investing in the sustainability of our farmers, growers and workers to enhance their livelihoods and generate sustainable development while continuing to offer our customers a range of quality products.

    What we're doing

    We’re making progress in our commitment to fairly traded products and addressing the sustainability of our supply chains, both locally and internationally.

    Last year, we worked alongside the Department for International Development (DFID) to fund a training and skills programme for 170 people across South Africa. The ‘Top of the Class’ programme helped build awareness of how to deal with personal and social issues and access career development. The programme produced brilliant results and 24 of the participants have since been promoted. And we hosted our first Ethical Trade conference in March 2015, where we brought together over 100 suppliers to discuss best practice.

    With sales of £289 million in 2014/15, we remain the world’s largest retailer of Fairtrade food products, with a range that includes unique products such as our Taste the Difference Kopakama Ejo Heza Faitrade ground coffee from Rwanda – the first ‘grown by women’, fully traceable coffee to hit mainstream shelves here in the UK.

    What we'll do

    1. We'll continue to grow the sales of fairly traded products in line with the business.

    2. We'll invest in the sustainability of our suppliers, farmers, growers and workers within those supply chains internationally.


    Key achievements

    • 1st

      ever training course on Agency Labour and Prevention of Worker Exploitation to assist suppliers in tackling hidden labour exploitation

    • >100

      suppliers discussed best practice at our first Ethical Trade conference, held in March 2015

    • 170

      people passed our ‘Top of the Class’ training and skills programme in South Africa

    • 24

      of ‘Top of the Class’ participants were promoted after completing the programme

    • >£290m

      of Fairtrade products sold in 2014/15, making us the world’s largest retailer of Fairtrade products

  • Active Youth

    ACTIVE YOUTH

    Living healthier lives


    We’ll encourage kids to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle.


    Why is it important?

    There are growing concerns about child obesity and activity levels with one in three children in the UK overweight and one in five obese. When we launched our Active Kids programme in 2005, it was about getting as many young people enjoying physical activity as possible. Over time we’ve evolved the programme to consider both ‘calories in’ and ‘calories out’, because it is important to maintain a balance of eating well and being active.

    What we're doing

    Our Active Kids programme supports registered schools and clubs with equipment, experiences and education for cooking and sports. This year, two winning schools received £10,000 worth of new kitchen equipment through our Active Kids Superstar Cooks competition, which was run in conjunction with ready-made lesson plans that helped teachers educate students about the curriculum’s cooking programme.

    The 2015 Active Kids voucher collection period resulted in the redemption of over £11 million worth of vouchers, benefitting more than 34,000 schools and clubs across the UK. Redemptions for healthy eating products grew by 42 per cent compared with 2014 as we helped more children learn about and enjoy a balanced diet. Prime Minister David Cameron also awarded the scheme with the prestigious Big Society Award, in recognition of our work in encouraging thousands of children across the UK to live healthier, more active lifestyles. We have now invested more than £160 million of our £200 million commitment to the scheme, to the benefit of over 47,000 schools and clubs.

    What we'll do

    1. We’ll continue to develop our Active Kids scheme, investing £200 million in activities for kids of all abilities.


    Key achievements

    • £10,000

      of new kitchen equipment won by schools through our Active Kids Superstar Cooks competition

    • >34,000

      schools and clubs across the UK benefitted from the 2015 Active Kids voucher collection

    • >£11m

      worth of vouchers redeemed from the 2015 Active Kids voucher collection

    • 42%

      increase in voucher redemptions for Active Kids healthy eating products in 2015 compared with 2014

    • >£160m

      invested in the Active Kids scheme to date

  • British

    British

    Sourcing with Integrity


    We’ll invest in the future of British farming and be the leading retailer for British produce


    Why is it important?

    As a UK retailer, we know that British sourcing matters to us and to our customers. Our customers value knowing where their food has come from and British sourcing means contributing positively to the national economy while reducing food transport miles.

    Driving sales is an important part of supporting our farmers, growers and producers in the UK. But it isn’t just about the sales. Through our agricultural development groups, our Research & Development programme and bringing young talent in to the industry though our apprenticeship scheme, we’re supporting the British agricultural sector and building a more resilient industry.

    This is why we have evolved our British commitment to focus on sustainable investment.

    What we're doing

    As part of our commitment to British farming, we’ve built strong relationships with over 2,000 farmers and growers that belong to our nine UK Farmer and Grower Development Groups. We hosted our second Research and Development (R&D) conference in March 2015, bringing together nearly 300 leading academics, research funders and suppliers to share their knowledge and address the common challenges within our research projects. This was the latest development in our R&D programme, which has supported 27 projects with greater than £2.2 million worth of funding. The focus on R&D also extended to our December 2014 Farmer conference, where over 500 delegates discussed R&D and the use of ‘big data’.

    In 2014 we launched our Horticultural apprenticeship scheme and this year we have extended this to agriculture with seven apprentices embedded in our poultry and livestock supply chain. The 14 apprentices are working towards a City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma.

    What we'll do

    1. We'll continue to work with our farmer and grower development groups to help them increase productivity, whilst reducing their environmental impact.

    2. We'll continue to focus on research, development and innovation to test the impact of new growing systems on different varieties and to increase yields and season length through new growing practices.

    3. We'll drive the sales of fresh and seasonal British produce, meat, fish and poultry.


    Key achievements

    • >2,000

      farmers and growers whom we have built strong relationships with through our nine UK Farmer and Grower Development Groups

    • >250

      leading academics, research funders and suppliers attended our 2nd R&D conference

    • >£2.2m

      worth in funding invested in our R&D programme

    • 27

      projects supported by our R&D programme

    • >500

      delegates attended our December 2014 Farmer conference

  • Packaging

    Packaging

    Sourcing with Integrity


    We’ll reduce and optimise our own-brand packaging.


    Why is it important?

    Great packaging plays an important role in helping us deliver the best quality products to our customers, every time they shop with us. Packaging can reduce product damage and associated waste. It can also enhance the freshness and shelf-life of food which is good for customers, our business and the environment.

    What we're doing

    We’re always looking at packaging innovations to reduce the amount of material that goes into keeping our products fresh. We’ve reduced our own-brand packaging by four per cent year-on-year, resulting in 31.5 per cent less packaging per unit compared to 2005/06. Our 35cl bottles of own-brand spirits now use 35 per cent less glass, and we’ve delivered innovations such as the reduction in the size of our toilet roll core. This means less cardboard is used and because more packs fit in a lorry, less fuel is used in transportation saving over 400 lorry journeys per year. Our efforts extended to launching the world’s first Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified Tetra Pak, with raw material sourced from well-managed forests. We've also adopted simple, consistent on-pack recycling labels to guide our customers on the disposal of used packaging.

    Our approach to packaging informed our position in response to the government’s levy on single-use bags. Since October 2015, we no longer offer single-use carrier bags at our stores in England. Instead we've introduced a thicker, reusable 5p bag made from recycled material and is recyclable. This mirrors our approach in Scotland and Wales and reflects our ambition to reduce the number of single-use bags in circulation, with all profits from these bags donated to local good causes.

    What we'll do

    1. Reduce our own-brand packaging by 50 per cent compared to 2005.

    2. We’ll use recycled materials and make sure that the material is recyclable where ever possible.

    3. We’ll work with our suppliers to reduce and optimise packaging, sharing best practice.


    Key achievements

    • 31.5%

      less own-brand packaging relative to our 2005/06 baseline

    • 35%

      less glass used in manufacturing our 35cl bottles of own-brand spirits

    • 1st

      Forest Stewardship Council certified Tetra Pak in the world, created using raw material sourced from well-managed forests

    • >400

      lorry journeys removed each year by using a smaller toilet roll core

  • Jobs and Skills

    Jobs and Skills

    A Great Place to Work


    We’ll continue to invest in the training and development of our colleagues.


    Why is it important?

    From being predominantly supermarket-based, more than one in twelve of our colleagues now work in our online operation and more than one in nine in our convenience stores. With a business that is changing it is important we invest in our 161,000 colleagues so we continue to serve our customers whenever and wherever they want. We want to advance the career progression of our colleagues, provide them with externally accredited training, and help us all deliver against our business strategy.

    What we're doing

    Since 2010, we have opened seven Food Colleges, training over 33,500 colleagues. We were recognised at the 2014 City & Guilds Lion Awards as the largest organisation to offer training accredited by the City & Guilds, and we have also promoted over 4,000 colleagues within our business in 2014/15.

    This year, we launched a new Fish apprenticeship and a new Bakery apprenticeship to develop specific craft skills and to support colleagues in achieving their apprenticeship diploma. These year-long achievements reflect our apprentices’ ability to provide excellent customer service.

    What we'll do

    1. We’ll offer colleagues externally accredited training to support our business strategy.

    2. We’ll support career progression for internal colleagues aligned to our talent vision.


    Key achievements

    • 7

      food colleges opened since 2010

    • 33,500

      colleagues trained at our Food Colleges since 2010

    • 4,000

      colleagues promoted within the business in 2014/15

    • 227

      colleagues enrolled in our new Fish and Bakery apprenticeship programmes to date

  • Sustainable Fish

    Sustainable Fish

    Sourcing with Integrity


    Our fish will be independently certified as sustainable.


    Why is it important?

    Healthy oceans are vital for the health of our planet and millions of livelihoods around the world. Sustainable fisheries are essential if the world is to retain its primary renewable source of protein. And, protecting marine ecosystems is one of the major challenges facing our planet.

    What we're doing

    We’ve always held a strong position on where our fish comes from and how it’s caught. Our first Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fish was introduced in 2000 and the range continues to increase, with the first MSC-certified tuna sandwich launched in April 2014. In January 2015, we were the first supermarket to launch MSC certified cod in our cafés and we were awarded MSC Fish Supermarket of the Year 2015 for the second year running. Our commitment extends to farmed fish too – we were the first retailer to launch Freedom Food-labelled (now known as RSPCA Assured) loch trout fillets in 2014, which followed on from our 2013 launch of the world’s first Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified River Cobbler.

    Both farmed and wild-caught products featured in our 2015 ‘Switch the Fish’ campaign where we gave away over 29,000 portions of lesser-known fish to customers. The campaign is about encouraging customers to try new fish varieties beyond the ‘big five’ of cod, haddock, salmon, tuna and prawns.

    What we'll do

    1. The wild-caught fish we sell will be independently certified as sustainable.

    2. The farmed fish we sell will be independently certified as sustainable.

    3. We'll diversify our offer beyond the big five (cod, haddock, salmon, tuna and prawns).


    Key achievements

    • 1st

      retailer to launch Freedom Food-labelled loch trout fillets in 2014

    • 2000

      The year we introduced our first MSC-certified fish

    • 29,000

      portions of lesser-known fish given away in our 2015 ‘Switch the Fish’ campaign

  • Animal Health & Welfare

    Animal Health & Welfare

    Sourcing with Integrity


    Our meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products will be sourced from suppliers who adhere to independently verified higher animal health and welfare outcomes.


    Why is it important?

    Animal welfare is important for the animal and better management and care of livestock can improve productivity and food quality. As global demand for meat consumption is set to grow well beyond 2020, it’s important we work towards higher standards for the future.

    What we're doing

    We stock more RSPCA Assured (formerly Freedom Food labelled) products almost than any other supermarket with sales of almost £460 million in 2014/15. And we were awarded Freedom Food’s 2014 Best Retailer award for our contribution to farm animal welfare.

    Other awards include Compassion in World Farming’s Best Retailer Marketing Award (2013), Best Volume Retailer (2011) as well as recognition for our higher-welfare pig breeding trial (2012).

    Our Agricultural Development Groups are integral to our monitoring of animal welfare. For example, our veal has been reared on RSPCA accredited farms since 2013, and uses male calves from the Sainsbury’s Dairy Development Group.

    As of 2012, Sainsbury’s Dairy Development Group (SDDG) farmers benefit from a cost of production model, which sets prices that reflect their costs while building in a profit and rewarding them for their outstanding animal welfare and environmental standards. The price is reviewed every three months to take in to account the more volatile market costs by reviewing the on-farm costs for feed, fuel and fertiliser.

    What we'll do

    1. Our meat, poultry, eggs, game and dairy products will be sourced from suppliers who adhere to independently verified higher animal health and welfare outcomes.

    2. We’ll work with our Development Group farmers to ensure best practice addressing animal health and welfare outcomes is shared across the supply chain.

    3. We’ll continue to encourage and support our Development Group farmers on aspects of farming innovation including those aimed at improving animal health and welfare outcomes.


    Key achievements

    • ~£460m

      Sales of Freedom Food labelled products in 2014/15 – more than any other supermarket

    • 1st

      major retailer to move to eggs from cage-free hens in our ingredients – and we’re still the only major retailer to do so

    • 2012

      The year Sainsbury’s Dairy Development Group (SDDG) adopted a cost of production model, rewarding animal welfare and environmental standards in the price paid to farmers

  • Diversity & Inclusion

    Diversity & Inclusion

    A Great Place to Work


    We’ll have an inclusive workforce that offers employment opportunities to all members of the community.


    Why is it important?

    Everyone should have the opportunity to be able to come and work with us and everyone is treated fairly and equally when they do. As one of the largest UK employers, with a range of jobs available, we recognise that employing a diverse range of people that reflect the communities we serve, is beneficial to those communities, makes for better decision making and delivers real social and economic value for our business.

    What we're doing

    Our You Can scheme, launched in 2008, has helped over 25,000 people who faced significant barriers to employment into work, an achievement that won us the Business Disability Forum recruitment award in October 2015.

    Throughout 2014/15, over 440 women at Sainsbury’s participated in the ‘Inspiring the Future’ campaign to offer mentoring and career advice to young women. Organised through the Education and Employers charity, our colleagues dedicated hundreds of hours to talking to young women in schools about the amazing opportunities in retail. While for our own colleagues, we’ve announced that from January 2016 we require all Store Managers and office-based team managers, to mentor at least one female colleague who has the potential and desire to progress their career.

    We celebrated our fifth year of partnership with Carers UK in June, who helped us become one of the first FTSE 100 companies to develop a policy specifically for carers. We recently supported Business in the Community (BITC) with their Race at Work survey too. Receiving over 24,000 responses from across the UK, including over 4,000 from our colleagues – the results of this survey will help us build on action plans and understand how we can help colleagues from all backgrounds enjoy career progression with us.

    What we'll do

    1. We’ll provide work opportunities and access to jobs for those who face barriers to the workplace.

    2. We’ll be an inclusive workforce that reflects the communities we serve.


    Key achievements

    • >25,000

      people who faced significant barriers to employment, have been helped into work through our award-winning You Can scheme since 2008

    • >440

      women at Sainsbury’s have participated in the ‘Inspiring the Future’ campaign throughout 2014/15

    • 5th

      year of partnership with Carers UK, who helped us become one of the first FTSE 100 companies to develop a policy specifically for carers

    • 100s

      of hours spent talking to young women in schools about amazing opportunities with retail, through the Education and Employers charity

  • Operational waste

    Operational waste

    Respect for our environment


    We’ll reduce waste and put it to positive use in our business.


    Why is it important?

    The vision of the Courtauld 2025 commitment is a world in which food and drink are produced and consumed sustainably. Courtauld 2025 gives our business and our industry a framework for collaboration towards this goal. In a resource constrained world, it makes good business sense to go beyond reducing waste and to put waste to positive use. Closed-loop business models will be the business models of a sustainable future.

    What we're doing

    We achieved zero waste to landfill in 2013 across stores, depots and offices. Our commitment to put waste to positive use has resulted in hundreds of Food Donation Partnerships formed between our stores and local charities. Furthermore, in 2014/15 we helped with the donation of 980 tonnes of food to FareShare on behalf of suppliers, recovered energy from our waste, and our Cannock store became the first retail outlet to come off the National Grid, powered by food waste alone.

    Recently, we’ve focused on how we can help our customers make similar progress. We changed the freezing instructions on our own-brand products to reduce household food waste, and we’ve committed £10 million over the next five years to our Waste less, Save more initiative to pilot, test and innovate to help our customers reduce their waste. We already provide recycling facilities at many of our stores, and our customers and colleagues donated 3,595 tonnes of clothing and accessories to Oxfam in 2014/15, this equates to over 10.7 million garments - making us the largest provider of donations outside the charity’s own shops.

    What we'll do

    1. We’ll support the delivery of the Courtauld 2025 target to reduce food and drink waste associated with production and consumption of food and drink in the UK.

    2. We’ll work with our colleagues to reduce all waste and put it positive use.


    Key achievements

    • Zero

      waste landfill achieved across our stores, depots and offices in 2013

    • 980t

      of food donated to FareShare, facilitated by us on behalf of suppliers

    • £10m

      committed to our new Waste less, Save more initiative over the next five years

    • 3,359t

      of clothing and accessories donated to Oxfam in 2014/15 - making us the largest provider of donations outside the charity’s own shops.

  • Waste Less, Save More

    Waste Less, Save More

    Respect for our environment


    We’ll invest £10 million to help our
    customers reduce their waste through our
    Waste less, Save more initiative.


    Why is it important?

    In the UK, WRAP estimates that 15 million tonnes of food and drink are thrown away each year.

    When our original 20x20 Sustainability Plan was launched, emphasis was placed on what we could do within our business to reduce waste from our operations. As we approach the half-way point to 2020, we saw an opportunity to help educate and influence our customers when it comes to food waste. We’ve added a new commitment that reflects our ambition to help our customers reduce their household waste.

    What we're doing

    To demonstrate our commitment to reducing waste, we announced plans in September 2015 to invest £10 million to help our customers reduce waste. This initiative kicked off with a search for a UK town to become the test bed for a number of innovative ideas, with the selected town receiving £1 million worth of investment in 2016. The winning town will then be used as a blueprint for future initiatives, so other communities across the country can benefit from the results.

    What we'll do

    1. Through our ‘Waste less, Save more’ campaign we’ll invest £10 million to help our customers and their communities reduce their waste.


    Key achievements

    • £10m

      investment to help our customers reduce household waste

    • 1

      UK town to be selected as the test bed for innovative ideas to reduce waste and save more

    • £1m

      worth of investment in the Waste less, Save more town to find out what works and what doesn’t to share with communities across the country

  • Sustainable Sourcing

    Sustainable Sourcing

    Sourcing with Integrity


    We’ll work with our key own-brand suppliers, farmers and growers to address the impact of our products.


    Why is it important?

    Our scale means it’s important that we focus on reducing our impact on the environment but also that we are engaging our suppliers and others to do the same. We're working together with our suppliers, farmers and growers to build more sustainable supply chains. Resource efficiency, water stewardship and addressing waste are global issues that we'll be addressing through our commitment to sustainable sourcing.

    What we're doing

    We’ve built strong relationships with over 2,000 farmers and growers that belong to our eleven Development Groups, we work with them to reduce their impact on the environment. Since 2008 we've assessed carbon footprints of our Development Group farmers. Using carbon footprinting, benchmarking and regional workshops we've helped focused on areas of opportunity for improvement.

    We’ve been working with WRAP as a signatory to the Courtauld commitment reducing packaging and food waste across food grocery retail supply chains and are committed to the achievement of the Courtauld Commitment III. This includes a 3% reduction in food and drink waste across the supply chain.

    We continue to gather on-farm water data for our Cheese and Dairy Development Groups and use this for our benchmarking and regional workshops that look for areas for improvement. We’re also working collaboratively in known areas of water vulnerability such as Lake Naivasha in Kenya and the Donana national park in Spain.

    What we'll do

    1. We’ll work with and support our key suppliers, farmers and growers to understand and improve resource and carbon efficiency.

    2. We’ll work with our key suppliers, farmers and growers to help them reduce waste and put it to positive use.

    3. We’ll work with and support our key suppliers, farmers and growers to understand water vulnerability, improve water efficiency and promote water stewardship.


    Key achievements

    • >10,000

      farm carbon assessments to date

    • 2008

      the year we started to measure the carbon footprints for our Development Group farmers.

    • >2,000

      Farmers and Growers across our development groups have been assessed

    • >140

      billion data points collected as part of our carbon data collection programme since 2008

    • >400

      of our farmers involved in our work with the Doñana Strawberry and Sustainable Water Management Group

In 2011, we introduced 20 ambitious targets to address important economic, environmental and social issues. In December 2015 we evolved our targets, building on the learning and achievements of previous years. Read on for a summary of our journey.

Download our Sustainability Plan Overview

PDF (1.5mb)
Our plan Our journey