Asda can trace its roots back to two Yorkshire brothers, Peter and Fred Asquith, and a group of Yorkshire farmers who formed Hindell's Dairies in the 1920s. In 1965, Asquith and Dairies joined forces to become Asda. In 1999, Asda was acquired by Walmart, and in recent years, has grown to become Britain's second largest supermarket.
George LEAN project
Since 2009, we’ve been building momentum for LEAN, a program that guides how George does business with suppliers by:
- Retraining workers and increasing wages
- Improving and re-engineering production flow
- Reducing product damage and downtime
- Changing the way we partner with and plan commitment and production with factories
In 2012, this scalable model was expanded in Bangladesh, accounting for 62% of the garments we buy from suppliers there. Through efficiency gains and increased business, one George supplier has even invested in a new factory, where LEAN will be implemented from day one.
Tickled Pink celebrated its 16th year in 2012. This unique Asda charity partnership supports two outstanding charities, Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Campaign. In 16 years, Tickled Pink has raised more than £30 million for these charities, helping make a difference for people affected by breast cancer now and in the future.
Kenyan smallholders and growers
We've aligned with the Department for International Development (DFID) and Project Nurture, a four-year pilot funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Coca-Cola Company, to demonstrate the ability of smallholders and growers in Kenya and Uganda to double their income by becoming long-term sustainable suppliers of mango and passionfruit. At International Procurement & Logistics Limited (a subsidiary of Asda) we're working specifically with Kenyan farmers to introduce a new variety of sweet yellow passionfruit. To date, we've:
- Engaged with 400 smallholders and growers
- Identified suitable regions for growing
- Selected pilot farmers and organized marketing groups
- Secured a partner to aggregate, pack and export
- Generated positive consumer feedback regarding taste and pricing
We're targeting summer 2013 for the commercial launch and continue to work with our export partner and farmer groups to ensure that the necessary certification, supply and collection infrastructure is in place.
Piloted in 2011, our flagship community program, Community Life, rolled out to 560 stores and 23 depots last year. To date, 9,000 "Chosen By You, Given By Us" financial grants have been voted for by our customers and donated by Asda.
Carbon footprint reduction
Over the past four years, we've reduced our carbon footprint by 17.7%, the equivalent of 230,989 metric tons of CO2 or 150,000 flights from London to New York. Top achievements include:
- Diverted more than 96% of operational waste from landfills
- Cut energy consumption by one-third
- Reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 7.5% via company-wide refrigeration maintenance program over the past year
- Lowered transport emissions by an industry-leading 47% since 2005
Customers: Everyday Experts
Since 2011, we've communicated directly with our customers about sustainability and what Asda can do to support their aspirations to live healthier, environmentally sustainable lives. Everyday Experts engages more than 8,000 customers and uses that insight to inform our business decisions in such areas as packaging and food waste, as well as to shape the Greener Life pillar of our signature Community Life program.
Working with suppliers
In January 2012, we introduced the Asda Sustain and Save Exchange – an online supplier tool to help our fresh, chilled and frozen suppliers align with our long-term strategy for a sustainable supply chain – to more than 350 members from more than 250 companies. The tool has become a key part of doing business with us, helping our suppliers improve resource efficiency through access to best practice guidance, industry experts and sharing of knowledge.
Since 2011, we've worked with British Seed Houses to encourage our beef, lamb and dairy farmers to utilize Aber high-sugar grasses (HSG) and clovers, which have the potential to significantly improve production efficiencies and performance, while reducing carbon footprint. In 2012, they purchased more than 1,000 packs of high-sugar grass seeds.
In 2012, we piloted a study on the fresh produce category to determine whether this approach yields helpful management information using global warming predictions of 2 degrees. Asda's customer proposition "Saving You Money Every Day" is central to our corporate strategy and brand commitment. Underlying supply chain performance drivers of price, quality and availability are increasingly being affected by climate change, both now and in the future. The findings are targeted at improving our overall sourcing strategy by offering new insights that lead to a competitive advantage.
Colleagues Steps launch
The colleague training strategy was redefined and launched last year. It comprises three parts:
Step In: Four-week training for all new hourly paid colleagues.
Step On: Mini-modules and coaching activities covering all aspects of the leadership framework. This is predominantly for colleagues who want to take the next promotion step to become Section Leaders.
Step Up: Technical and behavioral training for promoted managers and Section Leaders. The training is accredited by City & Guilds and, since August 2012, 8,824 colleagues have earned a certificate. Nearly 160 colleagues have successfully completed all 10 modules of the program.
Colleague Hardship Fund
Asda Foundation's Colleague Hardship Fund supports colleagues (including current, retired or those who have left for health-related reasons) and their immediate family members who find themselves at serious risk of financial hardship. The Colleague Hardship Fund has contributed £188,000 in support of 296 colleagues since 2010.
As part of our ongoing commitment to offering training and development opportunities to our colleagues, we support the Retail Apprenticeship, a nationally recognized qualification through City & Guilds since June 2011. By the end of 2012, 2,827 colleagues had fully completed retail apprenticeships, and another 114 are participating in 2013.
In 2012, more than 70 Asda House colleagues benefitted from Mum2Mum, our peer maternity mentoring program, available before, during and after their maternity leave. We plan to pilot the Mum2Mum program in Scotland and at our supermarkets during the first half of 2013, followed by expansion to all our stores and depots by the end of the year.