In November 2020 Ethical Consumer searched the John Lewis website for an environmental report. Ethical Consumer also searched for updates in March 2021. The latest Corporate Responsibility Report 2018/19 was viewed.
The report discussed the environmental impact of its own operations and its supply chain, including addressing: emissions from its buildings and transportation; its waste, packaging and use of plastic; its raw material sourcing (including specific high-risk examples, such as soya and palm oil); water use and biodiversity in its agricultural supply chain. However, the company did not discuss the use of chemicals in its supply chain, including agrichemicals and those used in the production of clothing. As these were both key parts of the company's business, and often use toxic chemicals, discussion of these was considered to be necessary. The Ethics & Sustainability Progress Report 2019/20 also did not appear to discuss these issue.
The company was therefore not considered to demonstrate adequate understanding of its environmental impact.
The report contained several future, quantifiable environmental targets, including:
- Divert 100% of waste from landfill by end 2020/21
- 75% operational waste to be recycled by year end 2020/21
- By year end 2020/21 a 65% reduction in carbon intensity (tonnes per £m) against a 2010 baseline
- By year end 2020/21 reduce energy consumption (kWh per ft2) by 20% against a 2010 baseline.
KPMG had been engaged to give independent limited assurance over selected data, but not the whole report.
The company's Ethics & Sustainability Progress Report 2019/20 was also viewed but this did not contain any further independent assurances or auditing.
Overall, John Lewis Partnership received Ethical Consumer's middle rating for Environmental Reporting and lost half a mark in this category.
Corporate Responsibilty Report 2018/19 (April 2019)