Alison Austin, head of sustainability and food safety, says: "We have pursued sustainable development principles in our environment programme for several years and this is bearing fruit in some of our products. For example, we have worked with, and sourced products from suppliers who have adopted sustainable development practices."
These include selling Forest Stewardship Council paper and using FSC timber in its buildings as well as selling fish with the Marine Stewardship Council label, showing it has been sourced from fisheries independently certified for sustainable practices. For the past four years Sainsbury has worked with external charities and NGOs to monitor suppliers against its code of conduct, based on International Labour Organisation codes. "We also have 450 farmers implementing biodiversity action plans to conserve wildlife species and have been engaged in monitoring, auditing and seeking improvements in our supply chain in our socially responsible sourcing programme," Austin adds.
"Put simply, we are interested in supporting sustainable fisheries, for example, because we want to continue to sell fish. It is about enlightened self-interest."