SustainabilityAT THE HEART OF FUTURE GROUP'S ETHOS
The happiness of our employees, customers, communities in our areas of operation, the producers of our food, workers in our extended supply chain, – the happiness of all stakeholders in our ecosystem matters to us. As India's premier retail player and one of India's leading home-grown business houses, Future Group is present across the value chain, through millions of customers and thousands of suppliers.
Over the last couple of years, the Future Group through its retail, food and apparels businesses has created opportunities in India's cities and towns - providing employment and impacting at least a million lives – employees, workers, producers and consumers, this in itself has been instrumental in driving economic growth and have contributed significantly to social inclusion.
With fair wages and benefits, opportunities for development and growth, and a better working environment, the Future Group's modern retail business has created many more income generation avenues to individuals with lower education levels or from the unorganized sectors than most alternatives available.
The Group has contributed significantly to women's empowerment through Big Bazaar's platform 'Yatra'. This has provided women from self-help groups across Maharashtra with an opportunity to market their food and non-food products. This has also encouraged them branch off from self-help groups and start their own micro-enterprises, helping them profit directly from their association with Future Group.
Recognizing the potential to address economic inequality and accomplish other objectives that contribute to inclusive growth, Future Group has spread its reach deeper into rural India.
At Future Group, inclusive growth and sustainability are at the core of our business strategy, this is our focus as we partner with stakeholders to build a new India.
"Happiness matters"- a thought that guided us as we developed our sustainability framework. Our vision is: "Striving to grow responsibly, and achieve our dual goal of a happy environment and society, both of which are necessary ingredients for long term business growth. Future Group focusses on four key areas to drive sustainability values though our business:
- Responsible Products and Services
- Resource Efficiency
- Responsible supply chain
- Happy Communities
The underlying thought as we approach each key focus area is to Create, Connect and Collaborate.
Create: Innovate, develop, procure, manufacture products that address social and environmental concerns and provide services efficiently and responsibly
Connect: Engage with all stakeholders we impact to develop and harness opportunities that help create a better world
Collaborate: Generate value as we integrate sustainability concerns and sustain for the long term
We are in the process of evolving our Goals 2021 sheet, our areas of impact are:
- Positively impacting lives of employees and workers, particularly contract, migrant and women workers in operations and in supply chains.
- Encouraging participation of women in decision-making and governance at all levels and across all business areas.
- Achieving access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene across operations ( WASH pledge).
- Making packaging more environment and resource friendly.
- Traceability of our food products, addressing sustainability concerns.
- Ensure chemicals used in our products across businesses are environmentally friendly and safe.
- Stores implement energy efficiency, safety and waste management programmes.
Sustainability is a journey, and we've begun in right earnest, as we take stock of our efforts, we realise that there is a lot to be done. The next few months will focus on putting in place enablers, sensitisation, measuring our impact areas, interacting with stakeholders - understand their happiness quotient, and evolving targets. We will report on significant economic, environmental and social issues in each business - the progress made, our achievements and our approach to addressing areas of concern.
Our stores retail a basket of products including private brands that we directly source or manufacture including fresh foods, processed foods, bakery and dairy products, home and personal care, apparels viz. garments for men, women and children, electronic items, furniture and general home merchandise.
As we begin our sustainability endeavours, we are focusing on private brands in both the food and the apparels business.
We understand that the each raw and input material, ingredients and packaging material that we source could have far reaching impacts - whether on the environment or on important social issues such as labour and decent work - this is an area that we are keen to understand more deeply.
As a first step we are keen to establish traceability of our private brand food products and have set up a taskforce to study the value chain of key product categories. We are also looking to partner with organisations that meet our sustainable sourcing guidelines
Think Circular is a thought that we are incorporating as we grow. We realize that we cannot build our future on a 'take-make-dispose' mode, we hence need to minimise resource use and waste generation not only at production but also at the end-of-life. We are keen to work with organisations to repurpose products and create upcycled alternatives to waste – projects that would empower and inspire our value chain partners to create wealth not waste.
In this direction, Future Lifestyle Fashions Ltd (FLFL) organises a product return policy in exchange for promotional coupons, which encourages customers to bring back old clothes and articles which in turn are handed over to recyclers thus ensuring that these items do not end up in landfills. Similarly garments with minor defects are refurbished and sold at discounted rates to local communities.
Many natural resources are finite in nature, the demand for resources from multiple users and uses be it renewable and non-renewable input materials or packaging material, energy, water, bio-diversity places a limit on its availability over the long term.
For us at the Future Group resource efficiency means using the Earth's limited resources in a sustainable manner while minimizing environmental impacts - this includes the waste we generate. The positive link between happiness and human productivity of every employee is an area we are keen to exploit as we grow. In order to institutionalise our way of work and to measure and continuously improve upon our impacts on our larger ecosystem, the sustainability team over the next few months with support from each business design sustainability improvement programs around these and report progress.
For more details with regards past performance, please refer to our Business Responsibility Reports for the period FY16-17 (provide links)
Suppliers are an integral part of our ecosystem, our strategic objective is "growing responsibly while bettering the livelihoods of people all the way down our value chain."
We work with large numbers of suppliers - our own production sites, group companies, primary and secondary suppliers including wholesalers, distributors and producer cooperative organisations to procure agricultural produce, products, renewable and non-renewable materials, process materials, semi-manufactured inputs for production and materials for packaging in our businesses.
In recent years there is an increasing interest in supply chain practices, concerns have been raised on worker health and safety, human rights, environmental pollution, decent work and labour conditions in production. We are keen to work with our existing suppliers to continue to deliver tangible economic benefits but also understand their environmental and social impacts whilst doing so, comply with our Supply Chain Code of Conduct and mitigate any risks.
We look forward to partnering with our suppliers and communities to create new products and services, increase resource efficiency and contribute to the circular economy, and address challenges that hinder growth.
FLFL sources from social enterprise networks such as Industree Crafts Private Ltd (ITCPL), FLFL through its associate company invests, mentors and owns around 72% equity in ITCPL that markets these produce through the Mother Earth brand that is sold across the company's retail outlets.
Industree has facilitated setting up of two producer companies engaging 2000 artisans in the sector of banana bark products and apparel manufacturing. These give full time employment to 300 artisans and part time employment to 2000 artisans, mostly women spread across 6 districts in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. There are women who have transitioned from being helper to being director, from tailor to being a trainer.
They have now become role models for other women artisans. ITCPL aims to reach to 1 million artisans across 5 states in India.
The apparels business through Future Enterprise Ltd (FEL) avails services of local communities after providing them necessary training for its manufacturing of ready-made garments process. At its factory at Tarapur internship programmes are organized to train local youth. This employment promotion program (EPP) is a part of the Rozgar Prothsahan project (which is a skill development project under the State Government of Maharashtra).
The Group works with various communities within its ecosystem, it employs young Indians in rural and urban areas, works closely with farmers, suppliers and distribution systems across the country and interacts with various stakeholders who are closely linked to its business.
As a young yet progressive company the Group believes that communities grow strong and resilient when they have access to basic goods and services, and are provided the necessary tools to overcome any inequalities, if provided the right inputs - it helps build confidence and strength, thus enabling them to participate further in India's economic growth
We give grants to organisations that aligns with SKC Foundation's vision and passion, help address inequalities and inspire our employees and value chain members to volunteer and participate. Our core areas of focus to deliver happy communities are:packaging in our businesses.
- Access to goods and services
- Access to goods and services
- Access to goods and services