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From our environmental footprint to our pioneering Project Ocean campaign, discover how we're working with our partners to deliver a better, sustainable future.

In focus

A message from Alannah Weston, Deputy Chairman of Selfridges Group

We want to inspire our customers and partners to join us in doing the right thing for the environment. We will do all we can to raise awareness, encourage change and make a difference to the way we shape our future.

Our pillars for building a better future

Selfridges is building its sustainable business on four pillars and is working hard to develop change around each of these.


At Selfridges, we know that part of our extraordinary customer experience comes from making sure our customers can trust our environmental and ethical standards.


At Selfridges, being environmentally responsible means long term thinking about improving our energy efficiency, sourcing sustainably, managing waste and minimising our direct impact.


Our people are at the heart of the way we do business: It's their talent and skills which takes us from ordinary to extraordinary.


We want to make a positive difference to the communities in which we trade and we do this by focusing on issues that are important for our business, our team members, our customers and our local community.

At Selfridges, we know that part of our extraordinary customer experience comes from making sure our customers can trust our environmental and ethical standards.

Selfridges and Sedex working together to drive improvements in responsible and ethical business practises in global supply chains.

Our customers care more than ever about the origins and the content of the products they buy from us. They also care about how these products get from source to shelf and how we reduce, reuse and recycle our packaging.

That's why we take great care with all our packaging – from our distinctive yellow bags to our recycled paper bags used in the Foodhall. Down to the little details of the ink and varnish we use, we work hard to make the right choices.

Our journey

For us, sustainability means balancing the interests of our customers and communities with our responsibility towards the environment and our future. Over the last four years, we have been working in areas where we know we can make the biggest difference, such as our ambitious Selfridges Project Ocean which campaigns for greater understanding of the threats to our ocean and the need to buy and eat sustainably sourced fish.

As a retail activist it's important to us that we inspire our customers to discuss and act on the pressing global environmental and social issues.

Our products

Our Ethical Trading Requirements underpin our approach to source with quality and deliver with care. We choose our concession partners carefully because it is important to us who represents Selfridges in our stores. We ask all our partners to share our sustainability vision by complying with our Ethical Trade Requirements.

We want to ensure that products sold by Selfridges are produced under humane working conditions and with respect for workers and their human rights, that animals are treated and transported humanely and that suppliers minimise their impact on environment.

We are proud not to sell foie gras or any fish that is red-rated by the MCS (Marine Conservation Society). We have a strict policy on fur: we are proud not to stock or sell products containing real fur.

As an enabler of brands, we want to work in collaboration to make sustainable choices and keep our customers informed. Early in 2014, we became members of Sedex, the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange, a not for profit membership organisation dedicated to driving improvements in responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains. This year we will work in collaboration with Sedex to further develop our supply chain management.


All our packaging is designed to sustainable standards – from our iconic yellow bag to our online packaging.

We are determined to make all our packaging environmentally friendly. In 2006 we removed all but one of our plastic carrier bags and switched them to recyclable paper with accredited standards (see below). The carrier bag which we do use for extremely large items is recyclable.

As well as our yellow bags, we have a wide range of packaging, from our online boxes to our Foodhall counter containers. Every piece of packaging has been redesigned or is part of a longer review process to achieve the same sustainable standards while maintaining our unique customer experience.

Our packaging choices


We use FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified virgin paper for our luxury bag range.

For our other paper-based bags, we are proud to be using our own PEFC (Forest certification) virgin paper. This yellow paper is made in the UK at Croppers in Kendal who follow strict environmental procedures.

On our medium, large and extra large luxury yellow bags, we also feature the Carbon Trust logo which highlights our efforts in reducing CO2 emissions since 2007.


Our gift boxes are made using 80% recycled greyboard or FSC sustainably sourced virgin artboard.

Ink & varnish

Where possible, only vegetable ink and water-based varnish is used for packaging.

Next steps

  • This year, FSC and PEFC certified and The Carbon Trust logo will appear on all bags to raise consumer awareness of our environmental achievements
  • We continue to work with our printers and suppliers to offer sustainable options

At Selfridges, being environmentally responsible means long term thinking about improving our energy efficiency, sourcing sustainably, managing waste and minimising our direct impact.

We understand that using natural resources wisely will help us to build a more resilient business for the future and that by working with our people, customers, partners, suppliers and communities we can continue to do more with less, take action to help protect our environment and trade sustainably and ethically with our partners.

We continue to reduce our direct impact year on year and encourage our suppliers and customers to do the same.

We want to deliver amazing service and environments and do more with less, having fewer environmental impacts.

Energy reduction

Since we developed our mission for sustainability in 2007, we have reduced our energy consumption by 19%. And that is despite having longer opening hours.

We have introduced the following initiatives:

  • Complete overnight lighting shut down takes place in our Birmingham and Manchester stores if no construction work is going on
  • An "Own the night" initiative means that overnight contractors can reduce unnecessary overnight lighting in our Oxford Street store
  • Movement sensors have been installed and connected to lighting systems throughout our offices and back of house areas to reduce consumption
  • Changes have been made in the type and strength of light bulbs through all our stores
  • New more efficient electrical conduits between floors have been introduced in Oxford Street
  • New façade lighting was installed at Oxford Street in 2011 using LED lamps that use less energy and last longer than traditional fluorescent light bulbs

To help manage our energy use going forward, we have invested in a Business Energy Management System. This system has been installed in all new fit outs and, over the next two years will be fitted into all existing equipment in order to continue to reduce our energy use.

Renewable energy

Since 2011 we have reduced our contribution to climate change by buying all our electricity from renewable sources (from wind, biomass, landfill gas and hydro). Unlike fossil fuels, these renewable energy sources are naturally occurring and will not run out.


We believe responsible water use applies to conserving water and protecting water quality throughout our entire supply chain. Across our stores and offices, we focus on minimising our use of water and have implemented water saving initiatives such as upgrading toilet cisterns to be more water-efficient. We have also monitored and reduced leaks. We set yearly water deduction targets of 5% and have reduced our absolute water use by 5% since 2011.


We recycle plastic, glass, paper and card in all our stores. In 2011, we set targets to reduce waste from construction activity to landfill. We recycled 80% of waste, with 20% going to landfill. In 2013 we recycled 95% with only 5% going to landfill.

This year we have partnered with a new waste contractor, Veolia Environmental Services to consolidate all waste streams and achieve zero waste to landfill. Veolia is also supporting our internal engagement activity to encourage team members to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Sustainable solutions

We are using a range of sustainable materials when we build new displays throughout our stores. These include panels made from either waste straw or recycled paper that provides an eco alternative to chipboard and plasterboard. This offers a 100% recycled and 0% waste solution. We plan carefully when we develop new displays so that we do more with less – we make changes to a bigger area in one session rather than smaller constructions.

Recognition for our achievements

Since we set out our energy strategy in 2007, we have made major advances and our efforts were acknowledged. In 2010, we were awarded the Carbon Trust Standard certification for our UK sites for year on year improvement. We were re-accredited in 2012.

This year we are the first department store to achieve all three carbon standards, recognising ongoing achievements in reducing carbon emissions and water use, and improvement in waste management. We have focussed on a number of sustainability initiatives which have helped it to achieve the Standards. These include innovative waste management solutions such as an aerobic food digester in the staff canteen, ensuring that food waste can be digested on site and turned into water, as well as redesigning all of our packaging to be recyclable or biodegradable. And since July, our flagship store on Oxford Street has met our zero waste to landfill target.

On going improvement

Going forward, we will continue to track our operational progress in absolute terms against our targets. This year, we have set a target of further reducing our energy consumption by an additional 5%

In 2014, we are developing a long term carbon strategy which will set rigorous carbon targets and an engaging strategy which will inspire action from our team members and our customers and involve our partners and supply chain.

We will continue to report on and communicate our progress against targets by

  • Complying with regulatory requirements
  • Continuing the development of our environment strategy to minimise our impact and meet our targets
  • Maintaining our focus on the environment from senior leadership and strong governance within the business as we continue to review policy and targets leading to continuous improvement
  • We will raise awareness of our environment strategy with our team members and our customers and deliver engaging campaigns to enable team members and customers to take action to help protect our environment and make informed purchases

Our people are at the heart of the way we do business: It's their talent and skills which takes us from ordinary to extraordinary.

People are at the heart of the way we operate. We are a family owned business and we extend our family commitments to our team members and wider circle of partners. We recognise that engaged people deliver great customer service and better performance.

95% of our team members say that they are proud to work at Selfridges.

Our people vision is:-

"To be the destination for the most extraordinary people experience".

Our People vision is underpinned by our Values, which were created by our team members and describe what it is like to work here:

We have six goals to achieve our People Vision and every department has a People Plan where they focus on the areas that matter to their team members and our business.

1. Talking and listening to our people

We understand the value of talking, listening and consistently owning the outcomes. We have an annual opinion survey where we listen to our people and take action through our people plans.

The opinion survey enables us to identify and address any challenges quickly which is important in a fast-paced business like ours. The results of this year's survey show that our team members are more engaged than others in the UK retail sector (+6% above UK retail norm).

Engaged teams require engaging communications. Our channels include traditional newsletters and an internal TV channel. But it's face-to-face communications in which we excel – whether that's daily team briefings with a dash of ‘Wake-Up Shake-Up' fun or spectacular conferences and awards ceremonies produced with a splash of theatre.

2. Recognising and valuing our people

We celebrate success and thank our people for a job well done. We have our Extraordinary People programme to recognise team members who live our values and the Extraordinary People Club that celebrates extraordinary service and sales performance. In addition, team members receive performance related pay and enjoy a variety of benefits to enhance their well-being.


We offer great benefits to all our team members across the business including:

  • Discount: This is our number one appreciated benefit with up to 35% off shopping in our stores.
  • Commission: Depending on where you work, team members can earn up to 2% on everything they sell.
  • Pension: a Defined Contribution scheme provided by Aviva.
  • Bonus: For managers and Head Office team members. Our bonus for 2013 was the best ever payout.
  • Life Assurance: free, for all Selfridges team members.
  • Ticket Loans: we offer interest free season ticket loans.
  • Childcare Vouchers: savings on childcare of up to £933 (depending on salary) with Computer Share vouchers.
  • Gym Membership: the best deals so our teams can join a gym close to where they live or work.
  • Triage & Rehabilitation: If anything happens at work, we may be able to help if our team members need to see a physiotherapist, osteopath or chiropractor.
  • Cash Plan: Our teams can claim money back towards their healthcare costs
  • Eye care: We provide a contribution towards the cost of having eyes tested and/or for glasses for computer
  • Cycle to Work: the scheme offers the opportunity to hire a bicycle and safety equipment.
  • Private Health Cover: For our managers we offer private health cover with BUPA.
  • HealthLine: 24/7 health advice and support is available for anyone with private health cover.

3. The Selfridges community

Our business runs on relationships and creativity. It why talking, listening, conversing and working as one is fundamental to achieve our clear goals which are shared at the beginning of each year. We call them our “Six Routes to Success.” Everyone plays their part in achieving our success. We are investing in our work place environment to ensure our people have a similarly extraordinary experience when working here as our customers have when shopping.

4. Resourcing the best

We develop and promote the best internal talent and attract the best talent externally. Driven by our Vision and Values, we have a shared understanding of ‘what good looks like'. This helps us to set candidates' expectations, and give them a great recruitment and on boarding experience.

5. Developing our talent

We offer a range of learning opportunities which support our current and future business needs and enables our people to take responsibility for their own development. We recognise the importance of great leadership and we will promote the best talent to be our future leaders. We have an Extraordinary Manager Programme to support development and in 2013 we delivered over 8,500 places on our training and development programmes.

6. Structure for success

We are proud of our diverse and talented team, which reflects our brand customer base and city locations.

We have the people, structures and processes that are geared towards achieving our vision, living our values and delivering our business goals. This includes clear career paths, succession planning and comprehensive people data to make the right business decisions and to measure the success of our leaders.

To achieve our vision to be the destination for the most extraordinary people experience, we are focussed on working and thinking differently, in environments which reflect our brand.

We want to make a positive difference to the communities in which we trade and we do this by focusing on issues that are important for our business, our team members, our customers and our local community.

Our stores are based in the heart of London, Birmingham, Manchester and Trafford, in communities with a range of priorities and challenges. We focus on building long-term partnerships with carefully selected charities in order to maximise our impact. Our community approach utilises the strengths of our business to make a difference in three areas:

Selfridges & The Zoological Society of London working to help protect 10% of the ocean by 2020 through Selfridges Project Ocean.
  1. Taking action to help protect our environment and helping our customers make informed purchases
  2. Championing and celebrating the Arts, Science and Culture
  3. Developing employability skills in young people for a brighter future

Selfridges Project Ocean - Taking action to help protect our environment and helping our customers make informed purchases.

We all depend on a healthy ocean and that's why we believe that together, through Selfridges Project Ocean, we can take action to protect the ocean now and in the future.

Since its launch in 2011, we have worked in partnership with The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to deliver Selfridges Project Ocean, a 'retail activism' initiative celebrating the oceans, raising awareness about the issues of over-fishing and pollution and encouraging the public to stop eating endangered fish.

Selfridges and ZSL are working to expand Marine Reserves to cover 10% of the ocean by 2020.

Bright Young Things - Championing and celebrating the arts, science & culture.

Bright Young Things is a pioneering project by Selfridges to seek out and champion the most exciting young creators in the UK.

In its third year, 2013 saw us showcase the talents of our selected Bright Young Things on an even grander scale than before. The 15 emerging talents, selected from across the Selfridges category mix, each had their own Selfridges window, offering them one of the world's most iconic shop fronts for the full eight-week duration of the campaign.

Our top talent worked with each Bright Young Thing to help them develop the best possible product range, exclusive to Selfridges and available online as well as within Selfridges Concept Store. Each designer hosted an event throughout the promotion and each event reflected the designer and their craft.

Watch our film about Bright Young Things 2013. Watch out for Bright Young Things returning in 2015.

Developing employability skills in young people - CentrePoint

We have been collaborating with our volunteering and fundraising partner CentrePoint to fundraise, volunteer our time, deliver workshops and offer placements at Selfridges.

Last year, our Recruitment Team volunteered to deliver an employability skills workshop to young people in support of CentrePoint's Workwise programme, which is designed to improve unemployed youngsters' chances of getting a job over the Christmas period. Our team taught the group how to complete online applications, excel in interviews and explained what to expect from assessment centres.

In addition, we run a programme where each quarter one or two young people are selected for a two week placement with our Food team, where they get to spend time in our Head Office and Foodhall. These placements have proved very successful and we are delighted to have offered a number of internships as a result. Members of our Food team have also visited the CentrePoint ServiceCentres to share their experiences and talk about developments within the Food industry.

We look forward to continuing to build on our partnership with CentrePoint, utilising the talents of our team members to develop employability skills in young people.


We believe that our success goes hand in hand with success for our local communities. So, we support and encourage our team members to share their skills and develop their learning by working with community partners.

We focus on using the strengths of our business and our team members to make a difference in three areas:

  • Taking action to help protect our environment and helping our customers make informed purchases
  • Championing and celebrating the Arts, Science and Culture
  • Developing employability skills in young people for a brighter future
  • Our volunteering work takes place in the communities around our stores in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Partnerships with Selfridges

As a high profile retailer, we are approached by a high volume of charities to support good causes, all deserving in their own right. Unfortunately we cannot support them all and we believe that by channelling our resources into long-term strategic partnerships, we can maximise our positive social and environmental impact.

Please note that due to the large volume of requests we receive, we are unable to respond to unsolicited requests for funding.