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Strategic direction of Woolworths LimitedWoolworths is conscious of its responsibilities in its retail business operations since it serves thousands of customers on a daily basis in different communities all over Australia as well as New Zealand. It needs to comprehend and manage its impacts and be in a position to aid achieve long-term and useful change which goes past its operations. Its business activities impact the manner in which it handles customers, invests in community initiatives, give returns to its shareholders and also has impact on the environment. The long-term goal for Woolworths Limited is to get recognition as the dominant sustainability-oriented retailer in the whole of Australia’s retailing industry.

As a result, incorporating sustainability and corporate responsibility into its routine business operations forms one of its key priorities (Fair Disclosure Wire 2012, p. 3). Targets, priorities, initiatives and commitments to guide the business towards the achievement of its goal were set up in its 2007-2015 Sustainability Strategy under its publication, “Doing the Right Thing”. Additionally, all the company’s functions have included their sustainability goals in the five-year tactical plans and they are obligated to follow sustainability criteria as well as take into account sustainability considerations in all their key investment decisions.

The general governance and responsibility of sustainability is carried out by the Board of Directors. It also administers the efficacy of the company’s health and safety program via its employee policy committee. Woolworths Limited’s sustainability strategic plan focuses mainly on climate change, impacts of drought and direct water use, consumer and distribution packaging. It also includes; source of its private label commodities and ingredients, generation of waste from stores and store development aspects such as design, equipment, construction and specification of materials.

The diagram below shows Woolworths limited’s strategic plan for corporate sustainability and the involvement of all stakeholders (Fair Disclosure Wire 2012, p. 4). Three organizational tensions, and how the strategic direction addresses themClimate changeDrawing from Woolworths Limited (2007, p. 12), climate change is one of the key tensions that Woolworths Limited is facing. This is because of its impact on the production of fresh food stuffs which in turn affects the company’s sustainability. A big percentage of the Australian population is aware of the destructive impacts of severe weather conditions like Cyclone Larry, and drought and how they influence the pricing as well as availability of staple food stuffs.

Therefore, Woolworths’ business strategy for minimizing its carbon emission level, and through that lessening its role in global warming, forms a compelling idea. Several political aspects and regulations are influencing the landscape of climate change including obligations for disclosing emission levels to the public, execution of Australian trading scheme for emissions and more public awareness subsequent to the Stern Publication.

Woolworths considers the reduction of carbon emission level as integral to its business growth. This is because; it will eventually strengthen its capacity to continue providing affordable fresh food products to its customers. Through a more efficient use of fuel and electricity, finding alternative fuel and energy sources, lessening the waste generated and disposing the waste in a responsible way, Woolworths will be able to reduce its effects on environment. It will also be able to render high quality services to its customers as well as get a better financial return (Woolworths Limited 2007, p. 13).

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