John Lewis

We’ve worked with one of the biggest and most respected names in UK retail on reducing its environmental impacts over the next 15 years

Sustainability in store

John Lewis approached Bioregional to undertake a comprehensive review of their ‘Bringing Quality to Life’ programme. This leading retail partnership wanted to identify opportunities for improvement across all of its operations, sourcing policies, manufacturing activities and community initiatives.

Bioregional assessed the ‘Bringing Quality to Life’ targets and projects through interviews with key staff, a literature review and competitor benchmarking. Our review encompassed the environmental impacts of John Lewis’ operations, products and materials sourcing and customer engagement.

We made 37 recommendations which were used by the firm to inform its priorities for this programme in 2012. This then led Bioregional to work with John Lewis on developing its Sustainable Product Identifier, covering 43 product types sold through its department stores and website. This includes a symbol used on all elements of John Lewis’s sustainability programme in stores, online and in its Community Matters materials. It is also used on more than 3,000 products.

In 2014 John Lewis asked Bioregional to carry out a strategic analysis and visioning exercise representing ten key social, environmental and economic trends that will affect John Lewis operations, its customers and the products it sells in 2030.

We called this piece of work ‘Bringing the Future to Life’. The trends we looked at included climate change, biodiversity loss, resource depletion, a changing retail landscape and the continuing advances in technology. For each of these, Bioregional drew upon the latest scientific research within the field and explored how the trend fits within the current national and international legislative context.

We used these ten scenario maps to outline a series of visions for John Lewis, designed to be stretching but realistically attainable and aimed at informing long-term goals for John Lewis’ social responsibility and buying teams.

About the partner

With annual gross sales of over £10 billion, the John Lewis Partnership owns 31 department stores, 10 John Lewis At Home shops and 328 Waitrose supermarkets plus an online catalogue business, a production unit and a farm. All 90,000 permanent staff are partners in the enterprise and they share in the benefits and profits of a business that puts them first.