Duncan Sinclair, Agricultural Manager, Waitrose

Our Responsibilities

The John Lewis Partnership will be 100 years old in the year 2028.  While that is still over a decade away, we have been focussing on how best to prepare our business now for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.  These include issues such as the proliferation of technology, resource scarcity, climate change, and health and wealth inequality.  We have been considering their impact on society, our workplace and the retail environment.

Taking a long-term perspective helps us to have a clear view of what we need to do to stay successful in the coming years.  These pages set out our thoughts and strategies in response to these trends.

Our founder, John Spedan Lewis, was committed to establishing a 'better form of business'.  Through the Constitution – first written in 1928 – he left clear guidelines for his successors.  He wanted to ensure the values that had motivated him to create the Partnership would not be eroded with the passage of time.

Our Constitution includes seven Principles which are the foundation of our business.  They are accompanied by a set of rules, rights and responsibilities - to each other and to those outside our business.   Our approach to responsible business today is centred on five of these key Principles and Rules:

Our Partners

Principle 1: 'The Partnership’s ultimate purpose is the happiness of all its members, through their worthwhile and satisfying employment in a successful business.'

Our Customers

Principle 5: 'The Partnership aims to deal honestly with its customers and secure their loyalty and trust by providing outstanding choice, value and service.'

Our Communities

Principle 7: The Partnership aims to obey the spirit as well as the letter of the law and to contribute to the wellbeing of the communities where it operates.'

Sourcing Responsibly

Rule 96: 'The Partnership’s relationships with its suppliers must be based on honesty, fairness, courtesy...'

Our Environment

Rule 109: 'The Partnership must take all reasonable steps to minimise any detrimental effect its operations may have on the environment...'

Latest Achievements
  • Our Reporting Every year, since 2001, we have publicly reported our Sustainability performance
  • Materiality A wide range of social and environmental impacts - also known as material issues - are relevant to our business

BITC_CR Index_2016_3_STAR (1)

We have been listed in Business in the Community's 2016 Corporate Responsibility Index with a score of 92% or 3 stars.