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A Report Of Sustainability Issues Affecting The Retail Market In The Uk And The Quality And Content Of Marks And Spencer’S Sustainability Report.

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1.1 Executive Summary

2.1 Introduction

3.1 Sustainability Issues currently facing the Retail market within the UK

3.1.1 Ecological drivers

3.1.2 Ethical/Social drivers

3.1.3 Legal/ political drivers

3.1.4 Technological drivers

3.1.5 Summary of drivers

4.1 Evaluation of the Marks and Spencer Sustainability Report

4.1.1 Non Financial reporting

4.1.2 Environmental Strategy

4.1.3 Green technology and waste policy

4.1.4 Summary of evaluation

4.1.5 Conclusion

5.1 Recommendations

6.1 References

1.1 Executive Summary

• Sustainable Development needs to replace the traditional view of economic growth.

• Interdependency of issues relating to sustainable development, ecology, ethics, laws and technology. How industrialisation and capitalism has affected the ecosystem. Ethical consumerist movement, highlighting the in equality in the global market. One cannot be addressed without the other. Growing acceptance of Sustainability model as a real alternative to economic business view.

• CSR reporting demonstrates accountability, transparency and credibility gaining the stakeholders trust. Current trend of opportunist green washing by companies as they recognise the marketing potential behind Eco reporting and the green pound.

• Coherent Environmental strategy can increase profitability in a company with suitable structure, with re branding this presents dramatic opportunity to alter the outlook of an organisation. Implementation gains integrity.

• Technological developments save money and address urgent environmental issues. Recycling and closed loop systems generate energy and material that can be re-used, inside and outside the company. More efficient buildings reduce the need for power, working towards carbon neutrality.

• Developments in legislation and regulations are current and will continue to tighten over the next decade as the UK government addresses its local and international commitments.

• Adopting sustainable practice ahead of legislation is good business practice, doing it now presents PR opportunities an potential influence in regulation.


Through out this terms course we have learned the current relevance of Sustainable development in business.

Organisations today face dramatic change if they are to survive and prosper in the future. For the benefit of this report Sustainability refers to "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" as defined in the Brundtland Report 1987. Sustainable development is now a key priority for businesses planning their future models. This holistic approach to economic growth includes a social responsibility to customers, staff and suppliers as well as share holders and a wider responsibility for the impact of its activities on the environment is commonly regarded as the future view of organisations. Evidence of the urgency to address ecological damage inflicted on the earths biosphere is now widely accepted. Damage resulting from the demands of an increasingly materialistic society, worldwide population and economic growth. Consumers are becoming more conscious of the value of their influence and effect in creating demand and supply. In the effort to gain competitive edge or maintain market position, businesses respond to such current pressures and drivers and the global and local market place evolves. As attitudes change and legislation in support of committed improvement is brought in across most areas of the world it will affect all our activities.

To assess the relevance to business of these changes and the current benchmarks set by companies today I have taken Marks and Spencer, as a market leader in retail, as the sample company publishing a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report. I will first consider the sustainability issues or drivers for change affecting the retail market in the UK and then move on to evaluate the CSR report published by Marks and Spencer, their aims and efforts using suitable academic models.


To assess the current trends driving sustainable development in the UK retail sector we will use the PESTLE framework, considering Ecological, Ethical/Social, Legal/Political and Technological developments influencing the business environment.


The model below concisely illustrates the real relationship of business, society and the environment. The economy within human society, within the biosphere. When we consider our reliance upon the biosphere in this way, we are confronted by the wider implications of consumer and capitalist priorities.

“I want to see the day when consumers can expect that environmental responsibility is as fundamental to the products they buy as health and safety is nowвЂ¦Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (Tony Blair 2004) This statement by the former Prime Minister, demonstrates the nature of the relationship between business and the environment and the imperative need for change in attitude.

One of the main ecological drivers for change in UK business comes from stakeholder influence, being the customers, staff, government lobbyists, pressure groups and shareholders. Two of the many ecological



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