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Sustainability Report On Woolworths Limited

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Question:

Discuss about the Sustainability Report on Woolworths Limited.
 
 

Answer:

The influence of a particular company or organisation on the societal or environmental aspects is not as evident as the effect on the economic aspects. The economy of a country is bound to be affected by multinational companies in that particular nation. However the social or environmental impact of a particular company is subtle. In order to understand the sustainability and compliance of a particular company an in-depth knowledge about the dimensions of sustainability needs to be understood.

Sustainability has three dimensions namely, economic, social and environmental. These factors or aspects are inter-linked among themselves. A natural environment is necessary for the proper survival of the society. The communities residing near the areas which have the factories of the companies supplying ores and oil or petroleum products suffer due to their operations. The “Triple Bottom Line” is an accounting network, with three parts namely, financial, environmental (or ecological) and social. The “bottom line” refers to the accumulated profit or loss recorded usually at the bottom most line of a statement of revenues and expenses. The three bottom lines involve the planet or the environmental bottom line, the people or the social equity bottom line and the profit or the economic bottom line (Abhayawansa & Guthrie, 2014).

There are mainly six types of capital a company can invest in ands there are some crucial decisions that need to be taken during the growth of complexity of a business in order to keep pace with the times. The types of the capital include, financial, intellectual, manufactured, social and relational, human and finally natural (Crane & Matten, 2016). Financial capital is the kind with which people are familiar with. Manufactured capital involves that capital of an organisation which is instrumental to the organisations success. Intangible assets basically comprise the intellectual capital. Human dependency is extremely evident in case of top technological companies (Boons & Lüdeke-Freund, 2013). Social and relational capital also involves the people. Finally natural capital involves those companies which supply and deal with extractive industries namely oil/gas and mining (Wang, 2017).

Woolworths Limited contributes to the communities in Australia as well towards New Zealand as well. The company can strengthen its bonds by contributing their pre-tax profits towards the communities in the areas they operate. It also leads to mutual benefits, as strengthened relationship with the customers, suppliers as well as employees helps in building trust as well as knowing each other better. The Woolworths company has contributed towards helping the communities recover from floods, droughts, cyclones as well as several other natural disasters (Wang, 2017).

 


Woolworths is also famous for developing the customers’ goodwill. The customers’ demands are given primary importance as well as their needs looked after. A close watch is also kept on the shopping habits of the customers to focus on production of those food items which they like making them more affordable and beneficial as well.  The social targets of the company apart from the financial targets are usually met every year. The company usually always accepts the requests of the customers for healthy organic food as well the requests of the communities for help and support (Keith, 2012).

The Woolworths Company has developed several initiatives which aim towards having a minimal impact on the surrounding environment. The natural impact of the company’s operations or manufactured products and supplies is duly taken care of by the authorities. The retail businesses of the Woolworths Limited Company are signatories to the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement established by the United Nations Conventions for Climate Change. With regard to this it can be stated that in the year 2007, the Company formulated a sustainability strategy, namely “Doing the Right Thing”. The strategy focuses on reducing the impact of carbon emissions from the different facility centres including distribution offices, stores as well as offices and also in case of packaging, transportation and sourcing of products.

The company also takes an active part in the animal welfare as well. It is absolutely essential for the suppliers of Woolworths to actively take part in the Woolworths Quality Assurance Program, comply with the audits as well as meet their respective standards. All processes involving transport, processing and saleyard involve the welfare of animals. In the year 2010, the company also opened 26 retail stores that are environmentally sustainable. In each supermarket, an Eco Ambassador is appointed to provide support to the sustainable issues as well as provide training to employees (Willard, 2012).

Despite the lookout of Woolworths towards all aspects of the surroundings, the considerable losses incurred by the company lead to the news of a possible shutdown of the company which could not be believed by the people of any community. The Woolworths Limited continues to be an industry favourite and its attention to all aspects of sustainability makes it a global supergiant.

 

References:

Abhayawansa, S., & Guthrie, J. (2014). Importance of intellectual capital information: a study of Australian analyst reports. Australian Accounting Review, 24(1), 66-83.

Boons, F., & Lüdeke-Freund, F. (2013). Business models for sustainable innovation: state-of-the-art and steps towards a research agenda. Journal of Cleaner Production, 45, 9-19.

Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2016). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.

Keith, S. (2012). Coles, Woolworths and the local. Locale: The Australasian-Pacific Journal of Regional Food Studies, 2, 47-81.

Wang, S. (2017). Corporate Retailing. The International Encyclopedia of Geography.

Willard, B. (2012). The new sustainability advantage: seven business case benefits of a triple bottom line. New Society Publishers.

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