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Sainsbury Cooperative Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility Activites In Sainsbury and The CO-Operative

Introduction

There is no time in our history that corporations have had so much an impact into the life of the community that surrounds than they are doing right now. The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) though very new in the business circles has been having a lot of impact on the way corporations are awaking to the realization that they need to work for the common good of the communities that surrounds them and not only in term of the profits that they make from these communities.

The concept of corporate social responsibility emerged in the business world in the 1980s and has gained momentum towards the turn of the century. The concept does not only encompass what companies do with their profits but it also encompass how the companies make these profits. It states the obligations of the company towards the process of making the profit and the obligation that it has towards those who are involved in the process and the impact on the environment.

There has been more emphases on the need of the companies consider ethical practices in their business which has been driven by the increasing consumer awareness for the obligations that corporations have towards them and towards the environment. The new market trade has been dictated by the demands of the consumers to have eco-friendly process and goods which has been seen as one of the most important way in which companies can integrate ethical practices in their business processes.

Therefore we can say the term corporate social responsibility has its roots on the moral obligation that companies have towards its workers, the shareholders, its customers, and toward the environment. It is a broad term that is supported by ethical theories of deontological theories and teleological theories that defines not only the moral obligations that we have in terms of the result of the process but also the moral obligating that we have in terms of all the factors that are involved in the production process.

Most companies have taken various CRS activities in different areas of the world which are all aimed at promoting the wellbeing of all the stakeholders in the market. In particular companies have taken it as their sole responsibility to ensure that they integrate ethical practices in the production process and also in the all other areas pertaining to their operations.

Most companies therefore look forward toward the release of their CRS end year report which has become one of the most anticipated even in the company’s calendar. CRS activities have not only been serving as important process in the working of the company but they have also been an important way in which companies have been marketing themselves and identifying themselves with the surrounding communities. The concept has helped most company to play the moral obligation by caring out CRS programs that are aimed at raising the welfare of its workers, consumers and the environment.

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Sainsbury PLC.

J. Sainsbury plc is one of the leading food retail in the UK and has been able to establish interest in non-food and financial services. The group is made up of server chains supermarket called Sainsbury’s supermarket, Bells stores, Jacksons Stores, and Sainsbury Banks. The corporation employs more the 145,000 people in all its operations.

The company has been in the market for along time and has built a business empire based on its principal of ensuring that they give their customers the best butter in the world and at the affordable price. It has aimed at cutting in niche in the market by becoming the leading consumer first choice for food, delivering of outstanding quality products at the most competitive price in the market.

The company has been taking various steps towards ensuring that it satisfies its customers in terms of meeting their demands through delivery of high quality goods and through ensuring that it pays attention to the matters of the environment. Let us look at the CSR activities Sainsbury.

CSR in Sainsbury

Since the company has been taking steps towards ensuring that it plays its moral obligation towards the consumers and towards the environment. As such it has put in place various programs that are aimed at ensuring that it derives what the consumer needs and in the right manner in order to enhance development of working system that takes care of the environment and at the same time helps the company to achieve maximum profile from its operation.

Since 1996, the company has been reporting on the environment impact that has been resulting from its operation. It has been reporting a broadened perspective of CSR activities to the stakeholders on all its operation. It has taken several initiatives which are aimed at ensuring that it integrates the CSR activities that it had been aimed at carrying out in its overall growth strategy which means they are now a part of its growth strategy.

The company first published data on-line in 2001. This was a web that was created with an aim o meeting the needs of the stakeholders and in order to enhance transparency in the work. This has been the main communicating channel between the company and its stakeholders on matters concerning the CSR activities that it had been carrying out and therefore there has been an easy coordination of its activities. Since 2004, the company has been publishing in CSR report onto website which means it is open to the scrutiny of all people in the world.

This has been one of the most respected companies into world that has responded well to the need to take care of what has been happening in the environment. Sainsbury has been making strides in the right direction towards meeting its obligation to the stakeholders and to other players in the industry.

What was the main driving force behind the formation of the website?

In the 1990s, the company was facing a growth pressure from the investors of on the need to demonstrate that it was committed to the welfare of the stakeholder. There was also a growing trend in the world that companies were beginning to take part in the CSR activities and there were more companies which were partnering with the local communities and other stakeholders to play a role in building up a portfolio of activities that would assist the communities. Those who were in the management of the company at the time also acted to the pressure of the people and the stakeholders and started coming up with steps towards addressing the need.

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The development of the CRS in the company

In the year 2000, there was a general agreement from the board on the need to develop a CSR section in the Sainsbury’s website. Therefore there was a general agreement to develop a website which could be used by the stakeholders to obtain all the information that they needed about the company and its CSR activities. This was the beginning of formation of an open system of flow of information that could be accessed by all people about the company and its activities.

Since then the company has made the right step toward ensuring that there was flow of information to the stakeholder about the performance of the company. This was seen as a moral obligation to the stakeholders and so to the consumers.

Under the CSR activities the company has been taking various projects which are aimed at promoting the welfares of the consumers and of the environment. The company has been guided by a 5 principles which have been guiding its CSR operations. Let us look at these principles and how they are being implemented.

The best for food and health

The company has been taking steps towards ensuring that it gives consumers the best foods for their optimal health. As such the company has been sourcing for the best foods from the world in a more ethical supply chain which is not tied to the rising concept of food mile which has been a subject of argument under the free trade world. In 2007, the company announced that it was removing all artificial colors and flavoring from a ranges of soft drinks and other food stuff that it had been selling to consumers.

The company has also re-launched the free from range to offer more options for the consumers who suffer from wheat, gluten and diary intolerance to give them more varieties. In 2006, the company was rated as the top on health matters by the NCC. By January 2007, the company has been able to remove all hydrogenated vegetable oils and fat from food a d drinks made by the company. (J Sainsbury plc, 2008a)

Sourcing with integrity

The company has been able to put in place a procurement procedure that ensures that there is value and ethics in the process. By 2007 the company has committed to be producing all dairy products from England using English milk and all Scott products to be produced from Scotland.

From May 2007 the company had been selling fish that has been line-caught to all its 16 million customers in order to help preserve marine environment. The company has also put it a policy that all the primary chicken will be sourced from the UK which will be 100% organic. The company has allows been able to achieve a target to sourcing for all its apples and tomatoes from UK. (J Sainsbury plc, 2008b)

Respect for the environment

The company has been carrying out steps towards ensuring that its operation is in line with the demands of the environment. Therefore it has been caring out actives ensuring that it is addressing the changes that have been taking place in the environment. It has announced that it wills convert a fifth of its online delivery fleet to green electric vehicles. It has also been the first major UK supermarket to stop giving free disposal paper bags in is sorters. It has also installed a successful intranet energy monitoring system in all it stores. (J Sainsbury plc, 2008c)

Making a difference to our community

It has been carrying out activities which are aimed at enhancing the best of its operation in order to do good to the community. It has been able to donate 52 million pounds worth of equipments to young people in the UK. The company has also donated more than 250,000 pounds worth of goods through local heroes had the fundraising has been risings day after day. All these activities have been carried through active kid campaigns who aim at inspiring kids to be more active and health in order to prevent the raising rate of lifestyle disease in the world. The company has also been sponsoring Youth Sport Trust. (J Sainsbury plc, 2008d)

A great place to work

The company has been striving towards making a good working environment for all workers. It aims at supporting colleagues and to treat all people fairly in the workplace. It has been successfully implementing the talk back project which shows that there has been increased engaging of colleges in the past years. There has been a promoting program that has been aimed at including more colleagues in the management and it is shows that there has been reduced number non management staff leaving the company.

In 2001, the company had qualified for investor in people program that shows that it has successfully invested in the development of its workforce. It has been carrying out various training and development programs in the company which are aimed at enhancing leadership qualities of the workforce. (J Sainsbury plc, 2008e)

Therefore we can say that the company has been working towards ensuring that it plays its moral duty towards the employees and towards the environment. In this regard the company has been integrating ethics in its work as a way of meeting its moral obligation. Let us compare the CSR activities of the company with those of the co-operative.

The Co-operative

This is one of the largest cooperative in the world and it is formed by The Co-operative Group and the United Co-operatives. The new merger was formed in 2007 to form the world’s largest consumer co-operative which holds a turnover of more than 9.4 million Pounds with 4.5 million members and 85,000 employees. The new organization operates more that 4,500 trading outlets in the UK which includes food store, pharmacy, and funeral homes.

The company has also been making some steps towards ensuring that there is environmental sustainability and observance of ethics in its operation. As such the group has integrated various issue in it CSR activities which are aimed at ensuring ethics in their work. Let us look at some of the CSR issue that the company has carried out.

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Ethics

The Co-operative has put in place food ethical policy in order to improve ethics and environmental performance which is in line with the expectations of its members. This policy has been developed with the contribution of all its members. The following are the areas which are covered by the ethical framework that was developed by the company:

Ethical Trading

The organization has been working in support of the universal declaration on human rights and has put in place conditions in the supply chain which are inline with the demand of the policy. It has been promoting fair-trade and developing long-term sustainable relationship with the producers and suppliers. The company has been applying sound sourcing code of conduct in the supply chain source from the developing countries in order to help them to grow.

It has been sourcing from supply chains that respect human right, end child labor, giver reasonable working hours and pays overtime. It has been supporting fair-trade since 1992 and has been selling fair-trade chocolate, fair trade bags and fair trade bananas in all its stores. (The Co-operative, 2008e)

Animal welfare

In order to look at and respect animal welfare, the company has been extending the range of products that meets higher animal welfare standard including eggs sold are at least free-range and meets the highest market standards. It ensures all fresh products comply with the relevant UK farm assurance standards.

It has been carrying out a campaign which is aimed at ensuring that there is no testing of own-brand toiletries, cosmetics and household cleaning products using animals. It has continued to exclude fur from all products. These are some of the steps that the co-operative has been taking towards ensuring that animal rights are respected. (The Co-operative, 2008d)

Environmental impact

In recognition of the limited capacity of the nature of generate resources, the company has been working to the UK’s leading retailer on climate change by supporting the use of renewable energy, onsite renewable generations, and efficacy of use of energy with investment in quality carbon offset schemes.

It seeks to reduce carbon foot prints on items but not in expense of the poor countries. In has been recycling products in order to reduce the waste that is coming form its operations. It has been encouraging the use of product from sustainable source in relationship to fish, wood, paper, palm oil and soya products. It has lightweight all the bottles used in storing wine in order to encourage efficient use of resources. (The Co-operative, 2008c)

Food quality, diet and health

The co-operative has been carrying out different strategies which have been aimed at ensuring that consumers have access to high quality foods that are good for their health. The company has been leading in removal of substances of concern like additives and pesticides in the products. It has increased the range of product that it offers in order to ensure that consumers have more varieties to choose from.

It has been supporting the development of progressive stands in areas of labeling, fair-trade, humane cosmetic foods and freedom foods. It has been in the front line to oppose the adoption of genetically modified foods or nanotechnology in the areas which are damaging to the environment and the health of humans. The company has given a list of 66 pesticides whih are prohibited for use in farming of products which are sold in its outlets. (The Co-operative, 2008b)

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Community retailing

The company has shown its commitment in construction part in the community that they trade with in terms of the co-operatives investment, involvement, and volunteering. The co-operative has been offering the most diverse spread of stores for any consumer products that the customer requires. It has continued to source regionally in a manner that has proved a record of sustainability and benefits to the company and to the local and international community. The company has also been promoting produce from its own farms which is an important process in building the welfare of its workers. (The Co-operative, 2008a)

These are some of the ways in which the co-operative has been carrying out its CSR activity in its operation. It has integrated a high degree of ethical consideration especially when it comes to fair-trade.

Comparison of the two organizations

The two organizations have been well involved in ensuring that they play the moral obligation that they have towards the consumers and towards their own shareholders. Dealing with foods and other areas that directly affect the common consumers, the organizations have put in place measurers that are aimed at addressing the basic needs of the consumer especially when it comes to the issue of their health. They have policies which puts the health of the consumers first before other things.

They have also put in place polices which are aimed at ensuring that there is fair-trade in their operation. However there are some differences that emerge in the way they have been carrying out their operations. Sainsbury has put its CSR in a website that can be accessed by all people while the co-operative has not taken that step.

Also we find that The Co-operative has been having a more spread outsourcing especially from the poor nations while Sainsbury has concentrated its outsourcing from the UK. However both organizations have been working towards ensuring that there is observance of the consumer rights in the market and that they get the best products that has positive impact on their health.

Bibliography

J Sainsbury plc, 2008, Corporate Responsibility: A great place to work, Retrieved from http://www.j-sainsbury.co.uk/cr/index.asp?pageid=130on 6th May 2008

J Sainsbury plc, 2008a, Corporate Responsibility: The best for food and health, Retrieved from http://www.j-sainsbury.co.uk/cr/index.asp?pageid=126 on 6th May 2008

J Sainsbury plc, 2008b, Corporate Responsibility: Sourcing with integrity, Retrieved from http://www.j-sainsbury.co.uk/cr/index.asp?pageid=128 on 6th May 2008

J Sainsbury plc, 2008c, Corporate Responsibility: Respect for environment, Retrieved from http://www.j-sainsbury.co.uk/cr/index.asp?pageid=127on 6th May 2008

J Sainsbury plc, 2008d, Corporate Responsibility: Making a positive difference to our community, retrieved from http://www.j-sainsbury.co.uk/cr/index.asp?pageid=129on 6th May 2008

The Co-operative, 2008a, Community Retailing, Retrieved from http://www.co-operative.coop/food/ethics/communityretailing/on 6th May 2008

The Co-operative, 2008b, Food quality, diet and health, retrieved from http://www.co-operative.coop/food/ethics/communityretailing/on 6th May 2008

The Co-operative, 2008c, Environmental impact, retrieved from http://www.co-operative.coop/food/ethics/environmentalimpact/on 6th May 2008

The Co-operative, 2008d, Animal Welfare, Retrieved from http://www.co-operative.coop/food/ethics/animalwelfare/on 6th May 2008

The Co-operative, 2008e, Ethical Trading, Retrieved from http://www.co-operative.coop/food/ethics/ethicaltrading/on 6th May 2008

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