Next UK is the second largest UK retailer by sales value with 536 UK stores and an average of 278,000 transactions per day. Like other market leaders, Next also took steps towards sustainability without facing any significant challenges in the way. Changes like reduced packaging, less waste to landfills, improved vehicle and store efficiency have proven effective as their direct carbon footprint has reduced by 3% from 2010 to 2011. However, they have not been able to achieve same success with their Cotton/ Cotton product imports. They receive cotton from 591 suppliers from 46 different countries. Before selecting a supplier, they carry out audits to gain a clear view on how the supplier can comply with their Code of Practice, which has minimum requirement relating to workers’ right and working conditions. Even with Next’s support and guidance, some suppliers cannot trace their raw materials accurately and cannot determine whether it’s sourced sustainably or not. Due to this challenge, they cannot consider themselves sustainable. This change must happen at institutional level, Next must change their attitude and take a global action. The strategy they should follow is to source their cotton from suppliers who are members of an International Roundtable on Cotton eg. Better Cotton Initiative. Switching to these suppliers Next can ensure that all their cotton is sourced sustainably. Furthermore, they will receive a reliable cotton supply with more predictable prices, which will help them estimate their profits. As an organisation with moral capital, they must take the correct decision. References
Bettercotton.org (2013) Better Cotton Initiative. [online] Available at: http://bettercotton.org/ [Accessed: 9 Mar 2013]. Krznaric, R. (2007) How Change Happens: Interdisciplinary Perspectives for Human Development. [report] Oxfam GB. Next PLC (2012) Corporate Responsibility Report. [report] Leicester: Next PLC.
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