Approach to corporate responsibility

At Next, we recognise that our corporate responsibility programme touches on some big issues which are significant to how we do business.

We are attentive to our corporate responsibilities as a global business in the retail sector and also as an employer and supply chain manager. We aim to ensure that the measures we employ to manage our operations are aligned to our business aims and we operate by:

  • Acting in an ethical manner
  • Developing positive relationships with our suppliers
  • Taking care of our employees
  • Being responsible for our impact on the environment
  • Delivering value to our customers
  • Delivering support through charitable donations

Our approach to corporate responsibility is to address key business-related social, ethical and environmental impacts in a way that aims to bring value to all our stakeholders.

Next faces similar corporate responsibility challenges to other major retailers. Our focus is on continuous improvement and one of our strengths is our ability to be adaptable. We recognise corporate responsibility is an evolving subject area with new issues emerging on an ongoing basis. Over the last 12 months we have recognised the increasing importance of a number of key focus areas such as human rights and of course the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. There is an update on our work in this area in “Our Suppliers” section of the report and, in line with our regulatory responsibilities, we will be reporting more fully on this in 2017.

In addition to evolving areas there are issues which remain on our agenda such as climate change, waste and resource use, and we continue to limit the environmental impact of our business.

Labour rights in our supply chain is not a new area but it has a significant potential impact and one which is managed internally through a specialised team under our Next Code of Practice programme. We believe having our own team delivers important benefits which allow us to establish direct relationships and build trust with our suppliers; provides the business with accurate metrics of supplier performance; and delivers a direct understanding of issues at source and the drivers of non-compliance.

The report contains significant data which has been assured by PwC, and their independent assurance report can be found on pages 26 and 27.

We hope that you find this report useful and interesting. We welcome your feedback on our approach to this Corporate Responsibility Report. See page 6 for how to contact us.

Signature: Amanda James Amanda James
Group Finance Director
28 July 2016

Download the 2016 CR report