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Business and Sustainability Essay

The website sustainable-development.gov.uk (2007) mentions that there are different definitions of sustainability, but one of the most common one accepted world wide is as follows, “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”

There are many ideologies and policies that are involved such as the ecological issues related, ethical, technological, social, legal and political just to name a few. The social and legal issues are explained in greater detail in the essay.

Social Aspect

The definition of Social Sustainability is brought out really well by the following, “Social sustainability is focused on the development of programs and processes that promote social interaction and cultural enrichment. It emphasizes protecting the vulnerable, respecting social diversity and ensuring that we all put priority on social capital” Interface Sustainability (2004). The article also mentions that Social Sustainability can also be referred to as “global community” and covers areas such as “business operations and the effect that they have on employees, suppliers, investors, local and global communities and customers”, along with “happiness, safety, freedom, dignity and affection.”

Legal Aspect

The definition of Legal Sustainability can be understood from the following “Most commonly, they take the form of legislative and/or administrative measures or contracts. The legal character of the decisions determines what kind of actors could be involved in the decision-making process, how those decisions could be controlled in a market economy and how they influence directly or indirectly the sustainability of the water supply and sanitation” Péter.J. (2007). The Legal Sustainability can help in improving the efficiency of the courts and the judiciary system, all this in revising the reform policies.

Tesco and its Concept of Sustainability

The report by Halme.T and Melnyk.I (2007), gives the complete analysis of Tesco’s performance in the Social and Legal Aspect of Sustainability. The “Corporate Sustainability Analysis – Sector Retail” the study shows 79.2% growth in the Social and Legal Aspects when compared to the other retailers. Some of the analysis reported was as follows,

  • Tesco is willing to spend a percentage into charities, society work, focusing on children, education, the elderly and disable people.
  • The companies also contribute to “disaster and emergency aid.
  • The company has a set of “Code of Ethics”, which is used for the staff, partners, vendors, suppliers, customers or anybody who is directly or indirectly involved with the company. They also have policies for dealing with governments, corruption, etc
  • There are supermarkets in several countries such as China. They have “clear policies and expectations for its suppliers, and provides information about its monitoring procedures.”
  • The company also complies with the regulations set by the nations and also by the consumer protection acts.
  • Tesco has an efficient risk management system that identifies and minimizes “health and safety risks across the business” for which they train their staff.
  • The company has an aggressive pricing policy which complies by the legislations.
  • The study also mentions that there have been no “legal disputes that have a substantial impact on the company’s image or financial performance.”

Some other aspects of Tesco’s sustainability development plan are its commitment to environment friendly products. The company follows the “Nature’s Choice environmental standards – rational use of plant protection products, fertilisers and manures, pollution prevention, protection of human health, use of energy, water and other natural resources, recycling and re-use of material, wildlife and landscape conservation and enhancement.” Tesco Products (2007).

Tesco also has contributed widely to the social aspects to the society that comprises of recycling, saving energy, water consumption and transportation. Tesco has done and still is doing its best in contributing to issues such as Climate Change. With respect to its growth keeping in mind the sustenance development, “Corporate Responsibility Committee” has come up with the following points.

“The Committee has an explicit remit to:

  • assess risks
  • develop corporate responsibility strategy
  • review our social, ethical and environmental policies and practices
  • encourage best practice throughout the business
  • identify opportunities to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of the business using the Community Plan and other initiatives
  • review, agree, monitor an report on our Corporate Responsibility Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • increase internal awareness of Corporate Responsibility
  • improve stakeholder communication and engagement” Tesco – Corporate governance (2007).

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Sustainable-development.gov.uk. 2007. What is sustainable development?


Interface Sustainability (2004). Social Sustainability.


Péter.J. (2007) Law and sustainability: The impact of the Hungarian legal structure on the sustainability of the water services. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VFT-4NH6N58-1&_user=10&_coverDate=06%2F30%2F2007&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=06bd9cfded0b80fedc9d6b3ecc1ae14e

Halme.T and Melnyk.I (2007).Tesco. Company Sustainability Analysis


Tesco Products (2007). Tesco Corporate Responibility Review. Viewed on December 5, 2007. http://www.tesco.com/csr/g/g4.html
Tesco – Corporate governance (2007). Viewed on December 5, 2007. http://www.tescocorporate.com/page.aspx?theLang=001lngdef&pointerid=5084CC7F33BB46B7877DCFCB4911A13C 

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