Over the past year we’ve made great progress
against our commitments.

Today, the environment we operate in has changed significantly since we launched our 20x20 Sustainability Plan. We've now updated our Sustainability Plan to focus on the areas we feel are most important to our customers, colleagues and stakeholders - and on areas where we can make the most positive impact on the world around us.

Mike Coupe portrait Mike Coupe, CEO

Our approach

Our values are at the heart of everything we do. They underpin our strategy and make good business sense, giving us real competitive advantage. We have 24.5 million customer transactions each week, 161,000 colleagues and more than 1,800 supplier sites in over 60 countries. We need to manage the impact of our value chain and seek out opportunities to innovate socially, economically and environmentally.

In 2011 we launched our 20x20 Sustainability Plan, setting ourselves 20 ambitious commitments. As we approach the half-way point to 2020, we’ve challenged ourselves to review our commitments and see what more we can do to build a better Sainsbury’s.

  • 24.5m

    customer transactions each week

  • 161,000

    colleagues in our stores, depots and store support centres

  • 1,800

    suppliers sites in over 60 countries

We’ve listened to our customers, colleagues and stakeholders to reflect on our commitments, and used specific insights such as our Closer to Customers report. From this process we’ve evolved our Sustainability Plan, creating a more focused, coherent strategy to take us through the next five years.

Our governance

Working to achieve our sustainability commitments involves a wide range of colleagues. This programme of work is guided by, and governed through, our five Value Steering Groups, one for each of our five corporate values.

Our Value Steering Groups bring together a cross-functional team once a quarter and are chaired by the accountable member of our Operating Board.

  • Living Healthier lives

    Sarah Warby
    Marketing Director

  • Sourcing with integrity

    Paul Mills-Hicks
    Food Commercial Director

  • Respect for our environment

    John Rogers
    Chief Financial Director

  • Making a positive difference to our community

    Jon Hartland(interim)
    Director of non-food operations

  • A great place to work

    Angie Risley
    Group HR Director

  • Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Steering Group

    Established 2001, meets twice a year

    Mike Coupe
    Chairman, Chief Executive
    CR&S Chairman

    The chair of each Value Steering Group also sits on our Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Steering Group, which meets twice a year and is chaired by our Chief Executive, Mike Coupe.

  • Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Committee

    Established January 2007, meets twice a year

    Jean Tomlin, OBE
    Chair CR&S Committee

    We also have our plc Board Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Committee which meets twice a year and is chaired by our Non-Executive Director, Jean Tomlin. Our Chief Executive Mike Coupe is also a member.

    The role for all of our committees in 2016 will be to support the delivery of
    our Sustainability Plan by embedding our revised commitments into the
    way we operate.

Since becoming chair of the CR&S committee in 2013, I’ve been impressed by how corporate responsibility and values are truly part of the DNA of Sainsbury’s. Over the past year we’ve challenged ourselves to evolve our CR plan to reflect the most material areas for our customers, colleagues, stakeholders and business. We believe we have a responsibility to improve the world around us and I know that we’ll continue to challenge ourselves to set ambitious targets.

Jean Tomlin
Non-Executive Director
and Chair of plc Board Corporate
Responsibility & Sustainability

Halfway through Sainsbury’s 20x20 Sustainability Plan, much has changed both in retail and in sustainability leadership. 2015 is the right time to take stock of progress and learning so far, and to assess how best to focus efforts to deliver on the plan up to 2020. But it’s also the right moment to look further than 2020. The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) give us a universal framework for 2030, that leading businesses are already using to reshape their strategies. And regardless of what the Paris Climate Change talks deliver in December 2015, it’s critical that everyone rapidly scales up their efforts on fighting and preparing for climate change.

Shorter-term commercial pressures should not detract from Sainsbury’s longer-term sustainability ambitions. We know that business as usual will simply not be enough in the context of the SDGs or our changing climate – but that also means great opportunity. I look forward to seeing Sainsbury’s build on its excellent progress so far while looking beyond 2020 for more insight and innovation.

Sally Uren,
CEO Forum for the Future
& Geraldine Gilbert,
Principal Sustainability Advisor

Beyond 2020

Health and nutrition

The public health crisis we are already experiencing, in the form of rising obesity and diabetes in both adults and children, is set to get much worse. This presents a huge opportunity for Sainsbury’s in helping customers and their families to stay healthy and fit – including going further in encouraging Healthier Baskets and Active Kids, and innovating to enable nutritious diets and healthier lifestyles more widely.

Beyond 2020

Climate change

Climate change will hit (and is already hitting) agriculture hard, from the tropical commodities we enjoy every day such as tea, coffee and cocoa, to fruit and vegetables grown closer to home. Rapidly scaling up efforts with producers to develop more resilient ways of farming presents huge opportunities, not just to prepare for the changing climate, but also to tackle many other urgent challenges, from pressures on water, land and soils, to improving producer livelihoods around the world.

Beyond 2020


New technologies will fundamentally disrupt retail in many more ways. The trick is to really harness their potential for sustainability – from developing ultra-low-carbon cold chains, stores and equipment, to using data and digital tools to help customers shop and live more sustainably. Sainsbury’s Food Rescue app is a great example of how technology can help drive down food waste - and the new Waste less, Save more initiative will no doubt bring more new possibilities to light.

Download our Sustainability Plan Overview

PDF (1.5mb)
Overview Our commitments