Chief Executive's introduction

"Our responsible approach to social, ethical and environmental issues is about creating an excellent shopping experience for our customers, a great place to work for our colleagues and a business which helps our communities”.

Our approach to corporate responsibility is about creating a great place to work for our colleagues, an excellent and trusted shopping experience for our customers and a business which supports our communities. I am really proud of the progress that we have made again this year.

John Walden, Chief Executive

June 2016

John Walden

Highlights

During the last twelve months we have focussed on implementing the third year of our corporate responsibility strategy that we established in 2013. Last year we updated our targets which reflected some areas which we wanted to pay particular attention to. In particular diversity and inclusion, the reporting of our colleagues’ progression and customer sustainability.

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Charity partnerships

Our partnerships with charities are very important to us. They give an opportunity for every colleague to contribute and make a difference. Following a colleague vote, from March 2015 we have been supporting Macmillan. In the first year of our partnership we have raised over £1.5m. We have developed a strategy to complement the fundraising to focus on areas where we can support Macmillan with our skills and time including sharing our digital skills. We finished our two year partnership with Alzheimer’s society in March 2015 and as part of our legacy strategy have continued to enable store colleagues to become dementia friends and over 22,000 have done so. The Argos Barnardo’s Toy exchange celebrated its fourth year and reached the target of £2.5m of fundraising cumulatively through the collection and resale of 250,000 bags of donated toys. These funds have helped Barnardo’s to support the most vulnerable children in the UK

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Diversity and inclusion

Ensuring that our business is attractive and accessible to all colleagues and providing a culture that is inclusive to gain the most from everyone’s contribution is an important part of our strategy. This year we have focused on establishing colleague led networks with executive level sponsorship. The LGBTA Network and Women’s Network have been launched and have held a number of events enabling different people to connect and raising the profile of diversity across the business. A Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group has been established to develop the strategy and track progress. It is chaired by the Chief Operating Officer of Financial Services, Martyn Beauchamp, and attended by other executive members.

Customer sustainability

In May 2015 the gadget trade-in scheme was launched to our customers. This scheme provides an easy, environmentally friendly way of disposing of unwanted phones and tablets at an Argos store and receiving Argos gift cards to the value of the item. Thousands of customers have used this scheme in the first year.