Case Study 2: Corporate Social Responsibility at Loblaw

Source of the case study:

Loblaw has a long track record pertaining to CSR. Loblaw has published a detailed annual CSR report since 2007.

Assessment of the description of the format of a Best Practice for Lion Nathan's Change of company culture

Figure 5.13 Assessment of the description of the format of a Best Practice for Lion Nathan's Change of company culture.

Who is Loblaw?

Loblaw Companies Ltd is Canada’s largest food distributor and a leading provider of grocery, general merchandise, drugstore, and financial products and services. Loblaw provides products and services that meet the everyday household needs of Canadian consumers. Besides the classical brand names, it offers the customers their private-label President’s Choice and no name brands. Loblaw has approximately 192,000 employees.

This section describes the strategic approaches used by Loblaw. Then we make an assessment of the CSR approaches used and the corresponding results. We employ the detailed BEST-tool in this chapter to show the strength of the tool for robust process improvement.

Loblaw Companies CSR Vision

Strong commitment to CSR which is defined by the way people of Loblaw do business and the role they aim to play in society.

Loblaw Purpose

Loblaw’s purpose - Live Life Well - supports the needs and well-being of Canadians.

Vision and purpose are the basis for the development of CSR approaches at Loblaw.

Core Values of Loblaw

Care, Ownership, Respect, and Excellence.

The Way of Doing business

People of Loblaw consider a strong commitment toward CSR and delivering products and services as opportunities to help Canadians.

Priorities for Loblaw are sourcing with integrity and caring for the environment. This is fully in line with the Loblaw values of care and respect.

Loblaw CSR Pillars

The starting point is the company purpose, i.e. Live Life Well. Loblaw applies a responsible sourcing policy, protects the environment and all people are committed toward the application of the corporate social responsibility principles.

Leaders and collaborators of Loblaw prioritize their work based on the urgency of an issue, its importance to Canadian citizens and customers, its relevance to the business and the potential for Loblaw to take a leadership position.

1. Sourcing: Source with Integrity

Customers want the products they buy to be safe and responsibly sourced. This means a meticulous application of the Loblaw values throughout the supply chain, a promotion of safe and sustainable products, and the support of Canadian suppliers.

2. Environment: Respect the Environment

Commitment to the reduction of the impact on the environment. Loblaw has a considerable influence on the reduction or better management of waste, energy consumption, transportation, refrigerants, and packaging, due to the national scale (Canada) and range of operations.

3. Community: Make a Positive Difference

Loblaw contributes to the well-being of Canadians through the products and services offered. Their efforts center on the promotion of health and wellness. Loblaw delivers this to communities throughout the country.

For each of these three pillars there are several objectives, KPIs, action plans, and corresponding targets. E.g. for the Environment pillar:

■ Moving forward on reducing the carbon footprint

■ Improving energy efficiency and cutting carbon emissions

■ Converting the fleet to electric

■ Converting refrigerants and reducing leak intensity

■ Reducing and diverting waste

■ Plastic bag reduction

■ Food donations

For each of the two other pillars (sourcing and community) there are also several objectives with KPIs, action plans, and targets.

The Loblaw website explains the relationship between these three pillars and the impact on society through a comprehensive illustration.

CSR Annual Reports

Loblaw has already published 11 annual CSR reports[1] (also available on the Loblaw website). We can speak of a “tradition of CSR at Loblaw.” Very few companies can claim this extensive experience with CSR.

Each annual CSR report (from 2007 until 2017) contains a foreword from the chairman and CEO of Loblaw. This executive visibility is like the traditional financial annual report.

The annual CSR report already gives detailed information. Extra information is also available on the website on a variety of subjects such as Carbon Reduction Strategy, Corporate Donations Policy, Local Store Donations, Environmental Commitment, Customer Service Accessibility, Bisphenol-A

(BPA) Statement, Animal Welfare Principles, Animal Welfare Video, Food Waste Video, and Visit W. Garfield Weston Foundation.

  • [1] accessed April 23, 2020 Previous CSR reports (2007-2017) are available at: accessed April 23, 2020CSR report 2017 is available in pdf-format:
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