Aligning Purpose With Growth: Enabling Ethical Decision Making in a Growing Digital Business

May 06, 2022

“It’s about happier people, happier business, happier planet,” says Laura Burbedge, the Online Director at Waitrose & Partners and speaker at IRX. In this session, Laura will describe how the organization uses Purpose to drive decision-making.  Covering elements such as customer experience, website accessibility, sustainability, use of electric vehicles, and driver conditions, Laura will give real examples of how she and her team make decisions that support growth whilst staying true to the businesses principles and purpose.

People, Planet, Business – The New Purpose

At Waitrose, finding a solution to a global problem means starting local. “Our operating model ensures that 80% customers who order online will receive goods from their local store, thereby supporting the local community and reducing the carbon footprint behind deliveries.”

Did you know that 59% of shoppers would buy more for free shipping?
Sign up now to unlock all our data-driven reports!

The company’s carbon footprint is minimised further by the fleet of electric vehicles currently on trial, including biomethane HGVs.

Single use plastics are also high on the agenda. “We’re continuing to remove unnecessary packaging in our supply chain where we can and introduce alternative materials to make recycling easier. We removed plastic bags from online orders and are currently trialling different plastics and packaging, particularly with the Duchy brand.

“We’ve recently introduced clear caps on our milk bottles, because unlike coloured ones, they can be recycled back into food grade packaging. Ultimately, our goal is for all own-brand packaging will be reusable, widely recyclable or home-compostable by 2023.”

‘We can’t afford not to lean into sustainability in a serious way’

Adopting the principles of the circular economy will significantly support Waitrose in achieving its goals. In the circular economy, instead of taking resources from the earth, using them once, and disposing of them in landfill, materials are kept in use for as long as possible.

One example of this is the launch of the UK’s first bottle and can deposit return scheme set to be introduced in Scotland next summer. Laura explains: “The circular economy is a big consideration for the grocery industry and will manifest itself next year through the deposit return scheme in Scotland. The challenge for retailers is to ensure they have the facilities in store to collect the bottles and cans.”

Looking ahead in the world of e-commerce Laura identifies ‘a trend but also a dilemma,’ which has potential repercussions on the planet. “Everything is now about fast-convenience – ‘I want everything and I want it in a few minutes time’. We’re among many supermarkets now offering grocery delivery in as little as 20 minutes – that’s where the market’s going and where the investment is. However, the dilemma we face is that this practice is ultimately putting more miles on the road. We need to satisfy customers’ needs – but in a way that doesn’t negatively impact the planet.

“As an industry we really need to lean into this – how can we meet the demand for hyper convenience without impacting the environment via vehicle pollution, noise pollution and increased congestion? We can’t afford as a country – and as a planet – not to lean into sustainability in a serious way.”

At a time when brand values matter more than ever, Waitrose’s new purpose addresses the currently global challenges head on. “Our purpose – people, planet and business – ensures that environmental responsibility and the wellbeing of the communities where we operate go hand in hand with good business,” Laura concludes.

About Laura Burbedge

Laura’s journey began graduating from University with a Software Engineers degree, where she was selected to join M&S as part of the graduate programme. After M&S, Laura pivoted into Product Management working as a consultant with leading retailers and global brands to develop customer-first online and omnichannel experiences. Since Laura’s arrival at Waitrose, she has led the reinvention of, migrating to a fully cloud based, microservice architecture across the Web, App and digital contact centre experience. She introduced product management and agile ways of working to Waitrose and scaled a multi-disciplinary team of over 200 people all focused on delivering market leading digital experiences for Waitrose customers and partners. In this time has tripled in size and launched a new fast convenience offer in partnership with Deliveroo.

Laura Burbedge, Online Director at Waitrose & Partners, is delivering the conference keynote at IRX: Aligning purpose with growth: enabling ethical decision making in a growing digital business.

(InternetRetailing Expo) & eDX (eDelivery Expo) takes place on 11 & 12 May 2022.

Register for free here


For more exclusive reports, insights, and interviews on the latest updates in e-commerce and logistics, follow us on LinkedIn or join our community as a member.

Share this with your network

Also worth your time

Follow us on LinkedIn
Stay connected with us

Track your parcel here

More discoveries

Unpacking Supply Chain Digitization for Micro-Retailers

Jul 04, 2022

Business Wire: Convoy Strategically Expands Alliance with MercuryGate

Jul 01, 2022

Funding Roundup: Fresh Funds Raised by Solv, ShopUp, Nautical Commerce and Others

Jul 01, 2022

TechCrunch: Pinterest Elects Google Exec, Bill Ready, as New CEO

Jun 30, 2022

Tech in Asia: Zomato Signs Acquisition Deal with Blinkit for $578M

Jun 29, 2022

Supply Chain Quarterly: Walmart Inducts High-Tech Tablets in Freight Trucks

Jun 28, 2022

State of E-Commerce in Germany 2021

Jun 28, 2022

Guest Post: 5 Effective Ways Technology Enhances Customer Retention

Jun 27, 2022

Alcott Global Podcast: Supply Chain Tech is Here to Stay

Jun 27, 2022

Business Wire: Shipbob Appoints Kamal Sundar As New Supply Chain Leader

Jun 24, 2022

Guest Post: Ultimate E-Commerce Strategies for the Summer Season

Jun 24, 2022

Guest Post: 9 Important Practices for Proper Inventory Management for Startups

Jun 23, 2022

Logistics Management: Fedex and Fourkites Join Forces for New Supply Chain Capabilities

Jun 23, 2022

Retail Dive: Simon Pilots Innovative Search Tool for Shoppers

Jun 22, 2022

Top E-Commerce Trends to Watch this Summer

Jun 21, 2022

Your Story: Delhivery Introduces Same-Day Deliveries for D2C Companies

Jun 21, 2022

Guest Post: Artificial Intelligence in E-Commerce: What’s Next

Jun 21, 2022

Guest Post: How Digital Marketing & Advertising Can Help Grow Your eCommerce Business

Jun 20, 2022

Funding Roundup: New Funds Secured by Zoovu, Cartlow, Khazenly and Others

Jun 17, 2022

Guest Post: 11 Ways to Optimize Your Online Store for Better Conversions

Jun 17, 2022

Apex Insight: Doddle Rolls Out Automated Returns Kiosks

Jun 17, 2022

Unpacking Returns Management in E-Commerce

Jun 17, 2022

Interview with Wilfred Lam: Omnichannel Logistics at LUXASIA

Jun 16, 2022

Fashion Network: Pimberly Strengthens Board with New Member, Dr. Beatrice Lafon

Jun 16, 2022

Yahoo News: Amazon Sets to Launch Prime Air Drone Deliveries

Jun 15, 2022