14th March 2018

Better Retail Better World: UK retailers take collective action for greener, fairer society

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More than 25 UK retailers have pledged to meet ambitious targets and collectively tackle some of the most prominent global challenges of the future by signing up for Better Retail Better World.

The firms have signed up to Better Retail Better World which uses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework for the targets to be met by 2020. These include:

  • Embedding a policy that no worker in the supply chain should pay for a job, to provide a safeguard against modern slavery
  • Publicly disclosing how retailers are supporting people from under-represented demographics to progress in employment
  • Reducing waste, greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation

Retailers will also share knowledge and best practice, and publicly update progress on these goals, as part of the project.

Retailers that have signed up so far are: Aldi, Baukjen Group, Boots, C&J Clarks, The Co-op, Debenhams, DFS, Dixons Carphone, Fenwicks, Greggs, The House of Bruar, House of Fraser, IKEA, John Lewis Partnership, Kingfisher, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Musgrave Group, Next, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Signet (Ernest Jones, H. Samuel), WHSmith and Wilko.

Richard Pennycook, Chairman of the British Retail Consortium said: “This is part of a growing movement for change. It is time for the retail industry to show what it can do for the common good. We are taking collective action to build a better, more prosperous and sustainable world, and demonstrating how we are making a positive contribution to society, in terms of the supply chain, food packaging, and waste.”

Tanya Steele, Chief Executive of the WWF said: “We are delighted to support the Better Retail Better World industry goals which provide BRC members with some of the best information and guidance to engage with the Sustainable Development Goals.

“The goals are what the SDGs are all about: bringing business, civil society and government together to bring about change in the world. Retail businesses working with consumers are key to the success of the SDGs and key in the race to restore nature.”

Andrew Griffiths MP – Retail Minister added: “Retail is a driving force for our economy and our recently launched Retail Sector Council will seek to boost the industry’s economic health and sustainable growth.

“Through our Industrial Strategy and the Good Work Plan, we have already made steps to create a stronger, fairer society, and it’s encouraging to see retailers coming together to fulfil these ambitions through the Better Retail, Better World initiative.”