Tesco's Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives

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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG059
Case Length : 21 Pages
Period : 1995-2005
Pub. Date : 2006
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Tesco
Industry : Retail
Countries : UK

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Excerpts Contd...

Societal Responsibility

Due to its size and scale of operations, Tesco was able to influence society at large in many ways, by encouraging its employees and customers to become socially responsible. The company adopted several initiatives to fulfill its responsibility to society.

These included charity, fund raising for a cause and promoting education. Tesco was of the view that it had a major role to play in promoting health food among its customers and strove to make health food available at affordable prices. These efforts were not limited to the UK but extended to other countries in which Tesco operated.


Tesco gave at least 1% of its pretax profit to charity, in the form of donations, employee time and gifts. In the fiscal 2004-05, Tesco's total charity contributions stood at 21,762,931. Tesco Charity Trust provided grants of 878,556 to local and national charities in the UK...

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Economic Responsibility

Tesco made strong efforts to contribute to overall economic growth and development in all its locations across the globe. The company played an active role in providing employment, supplying goods at affordable prices and giving the community opportunities to expand and grow.


Tesco deliberately moved into areas with high unemployment and low development to trigger growth, and to make the areas commercially attractive.

In a span of six years, Tesco provided employment to over 2,000 unemployed and disadvantaged people, through its job guarantee scheme. Tesco focused on training and employing people who were single parents, older people and first-time workers.

In 2005, it carried out two large scale regeneration partnerships at Dumfries and Stockport. The regeneration activities carried out at Coventry City, UK resulted in the creation of over 1,000 jobs.

Tesco saw to it that its new stores blended in with the surrounding community. The company improved the sites of its stores by planting trees and shrubs in the premises...

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The Criticism

Though Tesco claimed to be an environmentally and socially responsible corporate citizen, many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and industry analysts criticized the company's practices. For instance, according to Friends of the Earth (FoE), Tesco distributed 1.4 billion plastic bags in 2004, which ended up in landfill. In the UK, only 7% of plastic bags were recycled and the company continued using more and more plastic bags...


Exhibit I: FTSE4 GOOD - UK Index (2005)*
Exhibit II: Tesco - Values
Exhibit III: Tesco's Steering Wheel
Exhibit IV: Tesco - KPIs Performance- 2005
Exhibit V: Tesco KPIs (2006)
Exhibit VI: ETI Base Code


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