In the Public Eye: Sustainability and the UK's Leading Retailers

Jones, Peter and Hillier, David and Comfort, Daphne (2013) In the Public Eye: Sustainability and the UK's Leading Retailers. Journal of Public Affairs, 13 (1). pp. 33-40. ISSN 14723891

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Abstract

This paper aims to provide an exploratory case study of the sustainability agendas being publicly reported by the UK's leading retailers and to offer some wider reflections on the ways these retailers are currently addressing and pursuing sustainability agendas. The paper begins with a short discussion of the characteristics of sustainability. The paper draws its empirical material from the most recent information on sustainability posted on the UK's top 10 retailers' corporate web sites. The findings reveal that all the UK's top 10 retailers provide information on a wide range of environmental, social and economic sustainability agendas and that the majority of them essentially argue that by integrating sustainability into their businesses, they are better placed to provide long term growth. More critically, the authors argue that the UK's leading retailers are, at best, adopting a ‘weak’ model of sustainability and that in pursuing continuing growth, they are ignoring the basic fact that present patterns of consumption are unsustainable in the long term. The paper provides an accessible review of, and some reflections on, the sustainability agendas being pursued by the UK's leading retailers and as such it will interest academics and those working in management positions within the retail and the retail supply industries.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sustainability;retailers;UK
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Business School > Business and Human Resource Management
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business Research
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 18 May 2016 10:32
Last Modified: 18 May 2016 16:15
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/3511

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