dave lewis

Tesco boss Dave Lewis has axed one of the three key CSR pledges launched by his predecessor Philip Clarke.

‘Using our scale for good’, which was introduced as a mantra by the former CEO in May 2013, is set to be replaced with the much lower key ‘We believe every little help can make a big difference’ as one of Tesco’s three guiding principles, The Grocer can reveal.

In a letter to staff, Lewis said “Using our ‘scale for good’ did not resonate with Tesco’s staff, stressing the benefits of everyday help for customers in store instead.

“For me, its essence is with the word ‘help’ and believing that every little help can make a big difference,” said Lewis. “No action is too small if it’s the right thing to do for our customers, our colleagues and the people that matter to them.”

The CEO told staff he planned to keep the other two Tesco values, ‘No one tries harder for customers’ and ‘We treat people how they want to be treated’, brought in 20 years ago under Sir Terry Leahy.

“They are appreciated and fully understood by colleagues and there was no call to change them,” Lewis said in the letter.

Scale for Good set out to lead in reducing global food waste, improve health and through tackling the obesity crisis and creating new opportunities for millions of young people around the world. However, last November Tesco said it planned to scrap standalone reporting on its CSR objectives.

Sources told The Grocer Lewis had been determined to move away from putting the onus of the organisation on such grandiose objectives in favour of a resolute focus on service and improving profits - although they stressed Tesco would not turn away from tackling issues such as food waste.

In the letter Lewis highlighted the work it was doing at local level on food waste, thanks to a recent tie up with FareShare FoodCloud. “The difference we are making adds up quickly,” he said. “From just 12 stores involved in the UK pilot, our colleagues have already helped over 54 local charities collect some 25,000 meals.”

Ditching ‘scale for good’ marks another move by Lewis away from the past following his axing of the famous Steering Wheel philosophy that predecessor Leahy claimed was one of the driving forces behind Tesco’s success.

The balanced scorecard, also introduced nearly 20 years ago to measure performance, had become too complex for staff to handle, with more than 40 different metrics judging their success, said Lewis.

Lewis has moved to a system for rewarding staff based on what he calls the Big Six, a set of new principles more focused on staff, including a range of measures on service and availabilit, with bonuses being based around growing UK sales and delivering profit.

A Tesco spokeswoman said, “As Dave Lewis has set out, we are looking into ways of describing our third value so it really resonates with our colleagues.

“We remain absolutely committed to reducing food waste, helping our customers lead healthier lives and creating opportunities - where the actions of colleagues across the business can make a big difference to help our customers and their communities.”