In November 2019, Ethical Consumer viewed the Sainsbury's 'Values update 2019' for information on the company's environmental reporting. This update gave data for the 2017/18 financial year, and was therefore within the past two years for reporting.
It gave several long-term targets including:
- 55% waste water reduction by 2020 against 2005/06 baseline
- 30% absolute carbon emission reduction by 2020
- 65% carbon emission reduction by 2020 against 2005 baseline
- 50% reduction in packaging by 2020 against 2005
A downloadable document on KPIs and Commitments included further targets. In this the company discussed carbon emissions, waste water, food waste, packaging and sustainable sourcing. Elsewhere on its website it offered some discussion on the issues of transportation and the clothing industry, however it failed to prove it had a reasonable understanding of how these impacted the environment. Moreover, it did not discuss agricultural inputs such as pesticides and fertilisers, land management or refrigeration, although it had discussed refrigeration in 2016/7. Ethical Consumer believed consideration of these topics to be necessary in order to demonstrate adequate understanding of its environmental impacts. None of the Sainsbury's sustainability material had been independently verified.
As the company had an environmental report dated within the last two years and with more than two future quantifiable reduction targets, but did not demonstrate adequate understanding of impacts and was not independently verified, it received Ethical Consumer's middle rating for Environmental Reporting.
Values update 2019 (2 January 2020)