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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2012

Assessing the Sustainability of Food Retail Business: The Case of Konsum Värmland, Sweden

Bosona, Techane Gari; Nordmark, Ingrid; Gebresenbet, Girma; Ljungberg, David

Abstract

It is public concern that the impacts of food retail business activities need to be recognized and addressed properly. The main objective of this study was to assess the sustainable business management of a cooperative food retail business in Sweden, known as Konsum Värmland (KV). The necessary data and information on history and status of KV, and its practical activities concerning the implementation of sustainable development principles as well as the motivation and challenges encountered during the implementation were gathered via reviewing different documents, research papers and press releases; interviewing decision makers and other personnel in KV and other researchers who have investi- gated KV. The implementation of sustainability initiatives was analyzed in depth mainly based on triple bottom line sustainability theory. The findings indicate that KV has incorporated the sustainability issues into its mission and values. It practically has been implementing sustainability programs in environmental, social and economic dimensions. It pro- vides environmentally friendly and quality food products using its main brands names for local products. The major drives for KV to implement sustainability initiatives are leadership and employees' commitment, organizational core values, and members' and consumers' awareness. On the other hand, the major challenges to such sustainability initia- tives are high price of greener products, high logistics cost and emission due to long winter time, the seasonality of local product, and high cost of large scale investment.

Keywords

Sweden; Konsum Värmland; Food Retailer; Sustainable Business Development; Sustainability Indicators; Triple Bottom Line

Published in

Journal of Service Science and Management
2012, Volume: 5, number: 4, pages: 373-385