How Justin King changed Sainsbury's graduate training and selection to reflect the company's core environmental values

Thursday, 17 April 2008 - Following Jeremy Paxman's interview with Justin King, Sainsbury's CEO, on Newsnight yesterday, where he discussed issues relating to the planet's sustainability and the environmental impact of plastics, the company has boldly stated this morning that it will reduce the use of its plastic bags by half by April 2009.

This is not a simple 'window dressing' statement from the leading retailer. All of what Sainsbury's does - from halving the number of plastic bags to selecting its staff - falls in line with its 'Different Values' Corporate Responsibility Principles:

Sainsbury's has become a first adopter of a new form of graduate training based on a Community Action Learning Programme, that is designed to develop the personal leadership skills of its graduate recruits through a community-based project. The programme has been pioneered by Impact, global leaders in experiential learning and people development programmes.

These 'Different Values' are at the core of how Justin King runs the Sainsbury's business - and qualities he looks for in his staff, straight from when they join the company. The programme enables graduates to develop their leadership skills and advances the retailer's core values by promoting ideas of sustainability and environmental awareness within the local community. The policy even extends to selecting graduates who have demonstrated community values.

"At Sainsbury's we aim to fulfil our responsibilities to the communities and environments in which we operate," commented Joanne McGuire, Development Consultant, Graduate Development, Sainsbury's. "The graduate programme reflects the direction we are moving in as a business - it fully demonstrates our commitment to communities, young people, food and education. It also helps our graduates feel they are an important part of the company and has shown that Sainsbury's core values resonate with that of the graduates we recruit."

Manuela Whittaker
The PressOffice - PR for Impact
+44(0)1780 721433

Issuers of news releases, not Targetwire, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.