For Lenta, corporate social responsibility is not an ‘add-on’; it is embedded in the way we do business and is a long-term commitment. We believe it is possible to create value for all our stakeholders whilst behaving ethically, contributing to economic development, looking after our employees and improving the local communities in which we operate.
Our established corporate values (see Mission and values) underpin our business. Our commitment to these – and our ethics policy – informs our CSR agenda, strengthens our business and supports our ambitions for long-term growth.
Our CSR agenda is built on six pillars that influence our daily interactions with our stakeholders:
• Recruiting, training and retaining great staff
• Pricing and customer satisfaction
• Local sourcing
• Caring for the environment
• Making a positive contribution to local communities
• Promoting health and safety
1. Recruiting, training and retaining great staff
Our motivated, friendly and knowledgeable workforce is the heart of our business and the key to our long-term success. By recruiting and training the right individuals with the right skills, we seek to offer an enhanced level of service to our customers. We encourage a collegiate culture that fosters teamwork, innovation and trust.
We believe that investing in our people improves employee retention and increases our productivity. Lenta operates a programme of ongoing internal promotions and job rotations, which – combined with individual career plans and recognition initiatives – contribute to reducing staff turnover.
We also offer competitive salaries and voluntary health provisions for all our employees, once they have completed their probationary period. We provide employees with their uniforms and all the necessary protective equipment. We offer subsidised meals for all staff, which have a very high take-up with our people.
2. Pricing and customer satisfaction
Lenta’s core pricing proposition to its customers is ‘value for money’. We offer a wide range of products at attractive prices and seek to provide a competitive offer for our customers across the key product attributes of quality, availability, service and shopping environment. We believe that the service provided by our staff contributes significantly to customer satisfaction – and our in-store colleagues are continuously trained to engage with our customers and deliver the highest standards of service.
Lenta has a broad customer base, and we monitor purchasing patterns to assess changing tastes. Together with information gathered through our loyalty programme and customer surveys, we use this data to inform our decisions on product ranges and prices and to help tailor our offering to align closely with the needs of our customers, both regular and occasional. Lenta’s Loyalty Card guarantees a discount of 5% on all purchases. We also offer a Social Card, which is available in all Lenta stores across Russia. This gives vulnerable and needy citizens an additional discount of between 3% and 8% on basic food products and selected household items.
3. Local sourcing
Locally sourced products are at the heart of the Lenta shopping experience and our strategy acknowledges the importance of local and regional sourcing. Lenta’s rapid expansion throughout large parts of the Russian Federation creates opportunities to source a growing assortment of goods and services locally. This is obviously a win-win strategy, benefiting local producers and suppliers as well as expanding our offer of regional products to our customers and reducing our logistics expense.
Lenta constantly seeks to strengthen its relationship with federal and regional suppliers to take advantage of these mutual growth opportunities. With the fastest growth in the sector, Lenta’s ever-increasing requirements help to boost suppliers production capacity, while our modern and efficient supply chain provides federal, regional and local producers access to wider domestic markets across Russia.
We promote goods from local suppliers in our stores with a special shelf index that makes them easier for our customers to find.
4. Caring for the environment
With Lenta stores at the heart of local communities, we recognise our responsibility towards the community and the environment in which we operate. Moreover, we are committed to minimising any adverse impact – whether caused by use of materials, energy, transportation or disposal of waste.
We aim to comply with national and regional legislation relating to our operations – and work in close collaboration with local authorities and communities when planning new store sites. Prior to constructing new stores or distribution centres, we conduct environmental reviews of the proposed locations. We believe we comply in all material respects with the environmental standards applicable to us under Russian law and regulations.
5. Making a positive contribution to local communities
We are committed to playing an active part in the communities in which we operate, not just through the provision of employment and local contracts, but through financial and ‘in kind’ support to local charities and educational, health, leisure and cultural institutions. We believe that the opening of every Lenta store has a positive impact on the regional economy. Each Lenta store provides significant employment opportunities as up to 300 people are needed to operate each Lenta hypermarket. As one of the largest taxpayers in most of the cities in which we operate, we make a substantial financial contribution to local communities.
We maintain an active investment programme in local infrastructure, driven by local government. We also operate a number of partnership agreements with regional authorities aimed at enhancing socio-economic cooperation.
Increasing environmental awareness amongst our customers and employees is also a CSR priority.
6. Promoting health and safety
We are committed to creating and maintaining a safe environment for our employees and customers. Lenta’s Active Safety programme was developed in-house in line with international best practice and in accordance with BS OHSAS. Based on modular training units, the programme reinforces the safety of visitors, customers and employees, and is mandatory for all employees. As part of the programme, managers conduct daily and monthly ‘safety walks’ within stores. These help to identify any potential risks to staff and customers, ensure the staff’s hazard awareness and confirm the integrity of the store’s safety equipment. Colleagues are encouraged to report every incident, no matter how small, so that we can identify the cause and prevent any recurrence.
Quality and safety are also central to our sourcing strategy, and we regularly conduct audits not just of our own operations, but those of our suppliers.
Please see our Annual Report 2019 for more information