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LONDON -- In a move similar to efforts being made by Wal-Mart, Britain's largest supermarket operator Tesco Plc has said it plans to implement a 10-point Community Plan in an attempt to improve its image as it continues to grow globally.
In a speech made this week to the Work Foundation research group, Tesco's chief executive Terry Leahy acknowledged that today's consumers demand an ever-wider choice and ever-greater convenience. As Tesco serves its customers' needs, however, the retailer aims to "earn their lifetime loyalty," said Leahy.
"As a retailer, our stores serve a large number of communities, and our staff live and work there," he said. "So we have always known that we have a wider responsibility in society. We have not turned our back on those who have been left behind as Britain has become a more affluent society. We have built new stores, created new jobs, and given people new skills in some of our most deprived areas."
As part of its plan to be a good neighbor in the communities it serves, Tesco will offer more local and regional products and ethically and sustainably sourced items, sponsor local sports teams, and reduce packaging to aid in recycling.
Ten initiatives planned for the "Tesco in the Community" plan include:
-- A 100-million-pound environment fund to focus on sustainable environmental technology;
-- Doubling the amount that customers bring back to stores for recycling by 2008;
-- Offering only biodegradable carrier bags by September;
-- Using nutritional labeling on front of all its 7,000 private label items by spring 2007;
-- Launching a project with the Pre-School Learning Alliance to help inform parents, childcare professionals, and children in some of the UK's most deprived communities to make healthier choices;
-- Getting 2 million people running, cycling, or walking in events that Tesco will organize and sponsor in the London 2012 Olympics;
-- Designing and rolling out new store fronts that will blend in better with local settings, and reducing the frequency of deliveries to cut congestion;
-- Improving the way the company consults local communities before building new stores. Beginning in 2007 Tesco will hold a public exhibition or another appropriate forum to discuss new Tesco superstores;
-- Making it easier for small suppliers to gain access to Tesco by hosting open days in every region;
-- To sell more British food, introducing regional counters in its stores and using better labeling to highlight local produce.