Retail plays a major part in West Oxford’s (and Oxford city’s) carbon footprint – both directly in the energy use associated with running stores and the vehicle miles associated with customers coming to and from the shops; and also indirectly in the supply chains, packaging, and logistics required to create products and transport them to Oxford.
We are developing the LCWO Business Scorecard to
- Help accelerate carbon emission reduction by local businesses in a way that creates practical benefit for staff, environment and the community;
- Get West Oxford businesses to think about and consult residents about their impact on local community – whether carbon emissions, flooding, traffic/congestion, air pollution, biodiversity, beauty;
- Help customers and residents to understand the environmental sustainability performance of the large companies operating in West Oxford. By flagging where businesses could do better, customers can choose to change where they shop, or engage with businesses to request improvements.
Phase 1 complete: Scorecard design and scoring corporate indicators
Over the last year, we have completed Phase 1 of the project.
Step 1: Scorecard design complete
The scorecard was designed using a methodology informed by Oxfam’s tried-and-tested business scorecards.
For LCWO, sustainability is as much about local actions as corporate commitments, so our scorecard ranks businesses on a selection of 40 local issues such as sustainable transport, energy efficiency, litter, and biodiversity, alongside 19 corporate indicators, covering company-level initiatives such as carbon reduction commitments. We want our Scorecard to be a way of positively engaging with businesses in West Oxford to help accelerate the path to zero carbon in ways that create practical benefits for staff, environment and the community.
The corporate indicators are summarised to the right; see the full list of indicators, including notes on how a score is being calculated for each here.
Step 2: Corporate scoring complete
Over the winter, we have completed the scoring for all the businesses for first half of the scorecard, ranking them according to the 19 corporate indicators e.g. . It has been possible to do this entirely using desk-based research, so its completion was unaffected by Covid-19 and lockdowns. Businesses will be approached for feedback prior to the publication of the leaderboard.
The corporate indicators cover:
- Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and Energy
- Circular Economy
- Supply Chain
- Customers and Community
- Other indicators
Click here for the full list.
The next stage of the project began in May 2021, with collection of data to enable us to score the businesses according to our local indicators. Unlike the corporate indicators, this scoring cannot be completed using desk-based research, and instead requires in-situ research. Our plan was to complete this scoring process, and then invite the businesses to comment on the combined corporate and local indicator scores before publication.
In June 2021, we sent a letter to each retailer (paper and email), detailing their corporate score and ranking, with the invitation to discuss the score and feed back. We also enclosed the local indicator survey to enable us to calculate the local score, and offered to meet with them to discuss and work through the scoring of this part, or for them to simply complete the form and return to us. Only one store manager responded, to let us know he could not help.
Update March 2022: Following the lack of response from the local branches, we are now contacting sustainability leads at central offices, inviting them to comment on the corporate scores we collated before publication of our report, and also seeking their guidance with regards to best practice to engaging with local branches in the future.