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Triple success for Tesco: The most responsible large company according to experts

Tesco is one of the most responsible companies in Slovakia! In the prestigious Via Bona Slovakia award, the retailer received awards in two categories, namely Responsible Large Company and Exceptional Employer. At the same time, retailer was awarded the Public Prize. Tesco has been caring for customers, colleagues and all communities wherever it operates for 25 years. Even in times of persistent coronary crisis, the chain lends a helping hand where it is most needed.

"Responsible business, sustainability and corporate philanthropy have been part of our activities for a quarter of a century. It was an immense honor for me - both on behalf of Tesco, as well as all our colleagues - to receive the Via Bona award for our responsible business in Slovakia. I am very pleased that we can symbolically commemorate our 25th anniversary in this way as well. Above all, I am extremely proud of what we achieved last year during a difficult pandemic situation. Despite the huge workload and the onslaught of our colleagues, we were able to bring more to our customers and communities than ever before. I am very proud of the efforts of every colleague in Tesco and thank you for it," says Martin Kuruc, CEO of Tesco in Slovakia.

Via Bona Slovakia is a unique award for companies for inspiring examples in the field of responsible business and corporate philanthropy. In the current year, companies received awards in 7 categories. The winners were decided by professional independent commissions, choosing from 71 submitted nominations. The names of the winners were announced at a gala event on Wednesday, September 8, 2021. Tesco received awards in three categories - Responsible Large Company, Outstanding Employer and Public Award.

Via Bona Slovakia award in the main category Responsible large company was awarded to Tesco in Slovakia for its long-term sustainability strategy, flexible response to the pandemic towards the community and employees and for the fight against food waste.

More about Tesco´s responsible and sustainable approach

  • In addition to constantly helping people in need, the chain is also making a positive difference in other issues of social responsibility and sustainability. Detailed numbers and specific commitments of the chain in these areas are presented in a Tesco report entitled Small Aid Plan. Tesco's responsible business strategy is based on four main pillars, namely people, the planet, products and places. "We want to bring about positive change in the long run and we realize that a more sustainable and greener future requires a comprehensive approach with a concrete strategy. Our Small Aid Plan strategy will therefore focus on the specific areas that we believe we can make the most positive impact on. At the same time, it is a great opportunity to share our successes, current goals and be an inspiration for other companies," adds Martin Kuruc, CEO of Tesco in Slovakia.

Little Helps Plan

  • Tesco in Slovakia is an example of how to bring safer shopping and lend a helping hand to the most vulnerable in the time of the corona crisis, which brought challenges for the entire retail sector. Tesco responded promptly to the outbreak. The chain's priority has been - and continues to be - to protect the health of colleagues and customers by introducing and monitoring compliance with hygiene measures. Tesco offered paid leave during the worst pandemic situation to the most vulnerable groups of colleagues, and repeatedly paid an extraordinary bonus to all front-line colleagues for their dedicated work. Tesco has significantly expanded the availability of the Online Shopping service and increased the number of delivery times by 90%. The chain, in cooperation with the Food Bank, has donated a total of 2,788 tons of food to people in need since the outbreak of the corona crisis.

  • Tesco is a leader in the fight against food waste. So far, it has managed to reduce food waste in its facilities by 69%, thus meeting one of the UN's goals (to halve food waste). Tesco has been involved in the active fight against food waste - from the farm to the plate - since the financial year 2016/17, when it published its data on food waste for the first time and as the first chain in Central Europe. Since then, Tesco in Slovakia has managed to come significantly closer to meeting the goal that no food suitable for consumption will end up as waste, and save more than 20,000 tons of emissions. Slovaks also appreciate it - nine out of ten Slovaks from a representative survey depend on the activities of companies in this area.

The second of the awards, specifically in the category of Outstanding Employer, was awarded to Tesco for its comprehensive support for inclusion and diversity, as well as the promotion of gender equality and equal opportunities.

"At Tesco, we have been doing everything for 25 years to create a great place to work every day. We employ thousands of colleagues from different backgrounds, with different life goals and ambitions. An important value of Tesco is precisely this diversity, the diversity that our colleagues create, in conjunction with an inclusive environment where everyone is welcome. Thanks to this, we can, through joint efforts and determination, overcome even the most difficult obstacles, such as the outbreak of the coronary crisis. A challenging period that has become perhaps the best confirmation of what a fantastic team we create at Tesco. As an employer, we are constantly looking at how to support our colleagues as much as possible," says Miroslava Rychtárechová, Tesco's Head of People team in Slovakia.

Tesco is the third largest private employer in Slovakia. Topics such as diversity and inclusion are key to society. This year, the retailer was the first employer to issue a unique Report on the implementation of the diversity and inclusion strategy. It provides a summary of how the chain is doing in this area, as well as plans for the future. For example, the chain wants to be as family-friendly as possible and even more supportive of colleagues, for example, after returning from a long-term PN or those with altered working ability for health reasons. Inclusive culture is an integral part of the Tesco brand and values. As many as 89% of colleagues believe that at Tesco they can be themselves without fear of condemnation. At the same time, 92% of colleagues would recommend Tesco as a great place to work.

Report on the implementation of the diversity and inclusion strategy

  • At Tesco, equal pay for men and women is a matter of course - in the same position, the chain pays equal pay for women and men.
  • In connection with the diversity of needs of colleagues, Tesco has introduced above-standard, targeted Examples of support for new parents such as increasing the maternity benefit to 100% of net wages, paternity leave, adoption support or support for those who plan to have a family.
  • Tesco has long employed people who reflect the diversity of society. One example is the growing integration of people of Roma origin as well as people with disabilities. Tesco also brings a positive change in the employment of people with disabilities and altered working ability.
  • In 2020, 6.9% of the total number of colleagues worked in Tesco in this way, which confirms Tesco's inclusive approach to each colleague.
  • The retailer also introduced training on an inclusive environment for all colleagues and has already implemented two editions of the three-week online Festival of Inclusion and Diversity, which has so far been attended by more than 3,500 colleagues.

The independent Via Bona commission has already praised Tesco's responsible business activities in the past - in 2017. For its contribution to responsible consumption and production, Tesco was awarded the Via Bona - Prize for Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals of 2017.

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