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Welcome to Tesco Ireland’s first Corporate Responsibility Report. As Ireland’s leading retailer, our stores serve a large number of communities throughout the country. Our interaction with these communities reminds us daily about our responsibilities as an employer, as a business and as a good neighbour.

While price, value and delivering excellent service will always be important for the thousands of people who visit our stores every day, other issues are increasingly important too.

Our customers want to see more local products. They want to eat healthy food. They want us to be thoughtful about our impact on their neighbourhood. And they want us to take a lead on the environmental challenges that face us all.

This report outlines the steps we are taking and have already taken to address the very real challenges that face us all. We all have responsibility to make our communities better places to live and work.

"Every little helps" can become a great deal more when everyone pulls in the same direction. We look forward to the challenge.

At Tesco Ireland, we understand that customers want us to provide a good shopping trip. But we know that they care about other things too. They want businesses – including supermarkets – to be good neighbours in the communities they serve. And they want to be assured that businesses are responsible, fair and honest. That’s why we have put community and sustainability issues at the heart of our Community Plan, and we have put the Community Plan at the heart of our business strategy.

Reducing our carbon footprint and recycling

We launched our environmental strategy in May 2007, setting out a number of targets and measures to increase recycling and help us reduce our CO2 emissions. We also measured the carbon footprint of our operations here, which allows us to identify our impact and put plans in place to manage and reduce it. We have set up energy reduction structures in all our stores, and we are also introducing the most energy efficient technologies possible. We are committed to recycling 95% of our store waste and tertiary packaging. We are working hard with our partners to achieve this by introducing initiatives such as composting, nutrafeed, and office paper recycling across our network. And we are also committed to reducing our own-label packaging.

Supporting the Irish food and agricultural industry on a national and local basis is an integral part of how we do business.
Last year we commissioned a study on Tesco’s economic impact in Ireland. It found that:

  • Tesco spent €1.28 billion on Irish products and services in 2007
  • The overall value of Tesco to the Irish economy is estimated at €2.5 billion
  • We exported €655 million of Irish food to our international network of stores in 2007
  • Our sales of Irish food products have increased by 26% since 2004
  • 50% of our food range is Irish-produced
  • The number of people employed by Tesco Ireland has increased by 55% since 1998, to over 13,000

We have consistently broadened the range of Irish products on supply in our stores. For example, last year we introduced Irish peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins and Brussels sprouts to our range of fresh foods. And we have developed a local supplier programme to expand and highlight the presence of local suppliers in our stores.

As part of our Health and Wellbeing programme, we introduced over 400 healthy eating lines this year – both branded and Tesco own label. We have made healthy eating more affordable through strong promotions such as our half price "5-A-Day" campaign. And we have linked up with government bodies such as the Irish Heart Foundation to promote healthy eating initiatives including our "Get in Shape for Summer" campaign. We also launched the Tesco Nutritional Labelling System, based on Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) information.

Working with local communities

Working with our local communities is an integral part of our vision. The Tesco Ireland Charity of the Year initiative is an important part of this, giving our staff and customers the chance to pool their strengths and support a cause that is close to their hearts. We started Charity of the Year in 2001 and since then have raised over €6.5 million for various Irish charities. Last year, we raised nearly €1.45 million for Temple Street Children’s University Hospital in Dublin. This year, we chose Make-A-Wish Ireland as our Charity of the Year.

Challenges and commitments

Reducing our CO2 emissions and making it easier for our customers, staff and suppliers to adapt to greener living continues to be a major priority for Tesco Ireland. We will continue to work hard to increase our sourcing of Irish products and our number of Irish suppliers through our Irish Supplier Programme. We will deepen our bonds with the communities we operate in to ensure that we are a good neighbour. We look forward to the challenges that lie ahead and to working together on the practical things that make a real difference.

Tony Keohane
Chief Executive
Tesco Ireland