Sustainability in Large UK Listed Retail Companies: A Sectoral Analysis

Andrew Keay, Taskin Iqbal

Abstract


This article documents a study on the sustainability efforts of the largest UK general retail companies that are listed on the FTSE 100. Along with offering empirical insights into the position taken by large listed UK retail companies on sustainability issues, the study also provides an interpretive analysis of the data examined in order to gain greater understanding of what the companies are communicating and the attitude that they are taking in relation to sustainability. Based on an extended content analysis of each corporation’s annual and sustainability reports, the study was intended to be a pilot study, that is, a small study conducted in advance of a planned larger and broader project that would examine more companies and in different industrial sectors. It would specifically test aspects of the research design and allow necessary adjustment before final commitment to the design for the larger project. Nonetheless, the results of the study documented here are sufficiently substantive to constitute a stand-alone study and permit us to ascertain the state of sustainability in retail companies. Our findings demonstrate that companies are taking substantive actions to integrate sustainability into their business operations and are willing to communicate these actions to their stakeholders. They are actively engaged in re-designing their strategies in order to address factors that are at the root of unsustainability.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21153/dlr2018vol23no0art811

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