Sustainability, Materiality and Independent External Assurance

Part of book or chapter of book English OPEN
Jones, Peter ; Bown, Robin ; Hillier, David ; Comfort, Daphne (2017)

This chapter offers a preliminary examination of how the UK's leading food retailers are reporting on sustainability and of the role of materiality and external assurance in their reporting processes. Food retailing is by far the largest, and arguably the most fiercely competitive, sector within the UK retail economy. The chapter examines the current sustainability issues being addressed by the UK's leading food retailers, if and how they embraced materiality and commissioned independent external assurance, rather than a systematic and detailed comparative evaluation of the sustainability reporting policies of these retailers. The selected food retailers addressed a variety of environmental issues throughout the supply chain, namely climate change, carbon emissions, energy consumption energy efficiency and renewable energy, waste management, packaging, water consumption and water stewardship, natural resource conservation, environmentally friendly products and the land and property holdings. Waste reduction and recycling are important components of food retailers’ sustainability commitments.
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