OUR PEOPLE, SUPPLIERS, ENVIRONMENT

Alongside our four priority issues that are most material to our business, customers and stakeholders, we work on improving three important areas: suppliers, the environment and people, that are essential to us achieving our sustainability goals.

Our People

It is our colleagues who make our ambitions a reality. We aim to attract the best people and to support their development. We use a mix of traditional, digital and local advertising and recruitment channels to ensure our vacancies are available to a wide audience, attracting a diverse range of candidates who are reflective of the customers and communities we serve.

We prioritise employee engagement and we are developing our reward mechanisms and improving our learning and development capabilities for both our colleagues and our customers. We invest in building our people’s sustainability knowledge to help us achieve our goals. Our central people team is working with our HR leaders from across the organisation to review and develop our people philosophy and plan.

Our people can only be truly engaged if they’re given every chance to thrive. Across all our operating companies in 2016 we invested £17m in learning and development. Our investment is paying off: 62% of our people are now classified as engaged, putting us in the top 50% in the Gallup database of retail companies.

You can read more in our Sustainability Report.

Suppliers and partners

We have an extensive supply chain, and we choose our suppliers carefully, aiming to work with partners who can deliver great products while meeting our standards on human rights, ethical conduct and the environment.

We want to use our £7 billion buying scale to positively influence standards in our supply chain, reflecting customer expectations and reducing risks to our business.

You can read more in our Sustainability Report.

Environment

We want to help our customers create low impact, healthy homes free from waste and harmful chemicals. The same is true of our own business and our supply chain.

As we unify our sourcing and functions, we aim to identify the best practices in each of our individual companies and apply these to the group as a whole, further improving our environmental performance.

Our aspiration is to have a restorative impact on the environment, eliminating negative impacts and creating change for the better.

To achieve this we focus on the below areas:

  • Waste: working towards our target of zero waste to landfill
  • Water: reducing water use in our operations and providing products that help customers use water more efficiently
  • Chemicals: phasing out harmful chemicals
  • Packaging: improving the environmental credentials of packaging
  • Sustainable construction: reducing the impacts of construction including tackling waste and enhancing biodiversity
  • Peat: phasing out peat from our products in the UK.

Other important environmental issues for our business include wood and paper and energy use.

You can read more in our Sustainability Report.

 

74%

of waste was recycled

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