Growing customer awareness of climate change coupled with a desire to make more environmentally conscious purchasing decisions have heightened potential reputational risks for retailers. Meanwhile, increasing regulatory scrutiny over the industry’s environmental and carbon footprint exposes retailers to more pressures. Given this context, how well equipped is the UK retail industry to respond to these growing challenges?

In collaboration with the British Retail Consortium, BearingPoint designed a
survey based on their S360 Sustainability Maturity Assessment methodology, to assess the current status of the BRC members’ sustainability maturity. In total 42 organisations completed the holistic assessment covering seven key dimensions: Strategy; Governance & Organisation; Finance, Reporting, Regulatory, Risk; People & Culture; Operations & Supply Chain; Data & Technology; Customer & Stakeholder Centricity.

The majority of organisations who responded to the survey have outlined
that sustainability is a business driver and have indicated that they have a
roadmap with ambition levels beyond minimum compliance. Despite this, 65% of respondents say their business model has not changed, suggesting a gap between recognition and action. This is further supported by the data in a number of ways, which we will explore throughout this report.