Our Approach to Social Responsibility

Our Culture

Just as we always strive to offer our customers the best possible service and products when they visit our stores, we also make every effort to run an ethical business where people want to work and shop. We've made this a priority since we began as a single shoe store in Seattle and continue to do so today.

Our employees and customers have told us that they expect Nordstrom to be a company that incorporates social responsibility across all aspects of our business and into everything we do. Therefore, we work hard to reduce our environmental impact, contribute to the communities we serve, and provide meaningful and rewarding opportunities and support for our employees. Our commitment to running a socially and environmentally responsible company is something we take pride in ensuring every day through our actions and philosophy.

Our Strategy

Making ethical business decisions that benefit our employees, customers and communities is something we've done for a long time. For example, we've been working with United Way for nearly 60 years to help make a difference in communities, and we began our profit-sharing program with employees in 1952. We've also been recycling corrugated cardboard, office paper, mixed paper, metals, lamps, and pallets/wood in our Distribution and Fulfillment Centers since 1999. At the time, corrugated cardboard recycling was an established practice throughout our corporation.

In the past, our various efforts were not organized under a single program. Instead, we simply tried to do the right thing, relying on our great employees to make choices that would support our social responsibility efforts. And though that worked for us and produced some good results, we realized that we needed to focus our efforts and develop a more strategic approach. In 2007, we began the process of speaking with employees and customers to learn more about what matters most to them when it comes to social responsibility. Based on their input, we brought together a group of leaders from all areas of our business to help build a comprehensive strategy. We decided to narrow our focus to four key areas as they pertain to our business. We call them our "pillars": Supporting Communities, Sustaining the Environment, Protecting Human Rights, and Caring for Our People.

Since then, we've broadened our efforts to develop innovative programs around recycling, packaging reduction and sustainable products, just to name a few. We've worked with fantastic vendors who support social and environmental initiatives, and we have empowered our employees to turn their ideas for doing great things to reduce our environmental footprint or support the community into realities. We've made great progress—but we know we still have much more to do.

Our Efforts

With our efforts concentrated on our four social responsibility pillars, we have created a number of programs and initiatives that are currently in place or part of our future plans. As we look ahead, we still have much we hope to accomplish. We plan to continue working with our employees to turn their great ideas into positive change, while also looking for ways to develop new products so we can provide our customers with sustainable options. We will seek out more opportunities to help communities around the world and partner with organizations and vendors who share that commitment. And we will continue to look for innovative ways to reduce our environmental footprint.

We also believe that being transparent—sharing both our successes and our opportunities—is an important part of telling our continuing social responsibility story. That is why each year we set goals (an important part of every aspect of our business) within our four social responsibility pillar areas and report on the progress we've made toward each of them. Of course, we always hope that we'll accomplish what we've set out to do, but we also realize that we're not perfect. Through reporting what we've learned over the years, we will hold ourselves accountable for our actions and determine ways to make improvements into the future.

To read more about our progress over the past few years, please:

View Our ProgressPDF - 3.5mb

For more information, email us at csr@nordstrom.com.