Sainsbury’s invests £1bn in sustainability push

Sainsbury’s is to invest £1bn in a bid to hit 20 corporate social responsibility targets by 2020.

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Sainsbury’s Live Well for Less campaign

In a move that echo’s the launch of Marks & Spencer’s ambitious Plan A programme, the third largest supermarket is pledging to sell healthier and more sustainable products, reduce its operational environment impact and increase investment in communities and staff.

Unlike M&S Plan A which set out over 100 targets to be achieved over five years, however, Sainsbury’s 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan does not attempt to address all environmental and social responsibility concerns relevant to a multiple retailer, sticking to 20 priorities in four key areas.

The targets included doubling the amount of British food it sells from the current £4bn by 2020 and cutting its carbon emissions by a total of 30% of its 2005 levels.

Sainsbury’s recently introduced umbrella positioning Live Well for Less, which aims to links price and quality with its values.

The plan has been backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, who claimed it was a great example of how companies can grow jobs in tandem with tackling environmental and social concerns.

The announcement comes in the same week the supermarket said it would work more closely with FMCG giant Unilever to drive the sustainability message to consumers, after backing a report that says companies must create rather than wait for demand in this area.

The Consumer Futures 2020 report launched today by thinktank Forum for the Future says savvy brands will see results on their bottom line if they drive sustainability awareness through marketing, communications and innovation.

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