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Sustainability issues in the ethical codes of hypermarkets


  • Emese Gulyás

    () (Association of Conscious Consumers Budapest Hungary)


Large retail chains have become the dominant purchasing places for Hungarian consumers. At the same time when the first large scale retail unit was opened in Hungary the first critical voices were heard on the environmental effects of hypermarkets. In the new century economic critiques have overtaken the environmental ones. In countries with longer history of retail chains and market economies the most intensive discussion is about the social effects of big box retailing. Nonetheless these social debates have had almost no effect on the Hungarian regulation of large retail chains, yet some of the problems are addressed by self-regulation. This paper consists of two parts. First it gives an overview of the critical academic literature on the effects of large retail chains on the environment, on communities and on local economies. Second it analyses how these problems are reflected in industrial self-regulation, namely in the codes of ethics of retail companies.

Suggested Citation

  • Emese Gulyás, 2011. "Sustainability issues in the ethical codes of hypermarkets," Society and Economy, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 33(1), pages 111-129, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aka:soceco:v:33:y:2011:i:1:p:111-129
    Note: The research has been supported by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism (project HU-0056). The author is grateful for the research assistance to Ágnes Mérõ-Herman and to Zsófia Perényi.

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    More about this item


    sustainability; retail chain; hypermarket; ethical code; code of ethics; self-regulation; Hungary;

    JEL classification:

    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth


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