By Erin Hiatt, Director, Energy, Sustainability & Research
The past few weeks have sent me all around the country on behalf of RILA's Energy Program and Sustainability Committee – two key communities of our Retail Sustainability Initiative (RSI). These trips provide a great snapshot of what I'm busy with these days to help our members mature their programs.
First stop: Boston
My trip to the Boston area started on March 22, facilitating a panel at the CFO Rising East Summit on green bonds and external financing for sustainability in general.
In 2015, RILA was the recipient of a Department of Energy (DOE) grant to help us work on energy project financing, recognizing that the internal competition for capital within our member companies often leaves compelling energy projects unfunded. Since then, we've supplied our members with a wide array of tools and workshops to help them address this barrier, whether through increasing their own finance literacy or considering innovative funding options.
One of those innovative options is issuing green bonds, which has gained momentum in the retail industry with announcements from Apple and Starbucks. While RILA has done a good job educating retail energy and sustainability leads about these opportunities, the CFO Rising East Summit panel supplied an opportunity to share these new, exciting options with the other half of the capital allocation equation: finance professionals.
Joined by two fantastic panelists, Ariana Meinz of Bank of America and Cheryl Smith of Trillium Asset Management, we talked about the current momentum around green bonds, their benefits, and the opportunity they present to diversify a company's investor base. I would not be surprised if we continue to see more companies seizing the chance to tackle bundles of beneficial projects, supported by a green bond!
The next day I met with some of our grant partners at MIT Sloan School of Management, who are also helping us think through new avenues to expose finance professionals to these innovative opportunities. Because there isn't one go-to event to speak to an audience of retail finance professionals, we're thinking through low barrier, virtual ways to make sure companies know their options and hear from industry validators who have tested and benefitted from them. I also learned about SHIFT (Sustainability Help, Information, Frameworks, and Tools), an MIT online aggregator aimed at helping demystify the plethora of sustainability resources out there. You may see RILA's tools featured there soon!
My last day in the Boston area took me to Marlborough, where RILA member TJX graciously hosted a regional benchmarking meeting for sustainability and energy retail professionals in the Boston and New York areas. Twenty representatives from nine retailer companies discussed a range of topics in small groups including lighting, renewable energy procurement, stakeholder engagement, data strategies, and setting sustainability targets, Finally, in keeping with the trip's finance theme, attendees participated in a workshop facilitated by the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) on innovative financing options to wrap up the day.
Second stop: Phoenix
April 10 - 12 was spent at one of my favorite conferences to attend, the Edison Electric Institute's Key Accounts Workshop. Many RILA members prioritize this conference because it provides them with a unique opportunity to meet with utility account representatives all in one location, twice a year. Utility-commercial customer relationships are key for setting smart procurement strategies and taking advantage of the all-important rebates and incentives that make many energy projects financially viable.
I spoke on a panel highlighting landlord-tenant efficiency opportunities by introducing the audience to the Landlord-Tenant Energy Partnership (LTEP), an initiative launched Fall of 2016 by RILA and our friends at the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) – and managed by IMT. LTEP was started to help landlord and tenants overcome financial split incentives created by leasing agreements and is helping us progress collaborative solution-building. One co-panelist, shopping center developer Regency Centers, spoke about their collaborative tenant solar work that was featured in a RILA case study.
Knowing retail travel budgets are tight, I like to travel to where our members go regularly when hosting meetings of the Energy Management Program. EEI was kind enough to include our meeting in the official agenda for the seventh time, and retailers from twenty companies showed up for a great discussion. We talked about RILA's activities (including financing and LTEP) and benchmarked approaches to procurement, renewable energy strategies, energy management information systems (EMIS)/data analysis, and water management. I cannot wait to see members again this fall at the Gaylord National, right in EEI and RILA's backyard!
Third stop: Dallas
My final trip in April wrapped up just last week at the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association's (PRSM) National Conference. PRSM and RILA are naturally complementary partners. While RILA is a trade group with communities for retail energy and sustainability professionals, PRSM specifically serves retail facilities maintenance professionals. At retail companies with and without dedicated energy and sustainability programs, facility managers are sometimes tasked with elements of those work areas – so that made it a great place to talk to PRSM's own energy and sustainability groups about RILA's existing resources. Partnerships and collaboration make us stronger, so we want the tools they create with PRSM to address facility manager's needs by building on what's already publicly available.
I also spoke in a breakout session alongside IMT's Audi Banny who leads the LTEP to a great group, many of whom were learning about split incentive issues and opportunities for the first time. Coming from a role at Estee Lauder, Audi explained how critical it is for energy, sustainability, and facilities roles to work together towards the common benefits to be gained from partnering with landlords and internal leasing and real estate departments.
At lunch the same day, I joined DOE's Advanced Rooftop Unit Campaign (ARC) as they announced the 2017 campaign award winners including retailers Target, Ulta Beauty, H&M, and Giant Tiger! ARC encourages commercial building owners and operators to replace their old RTUs with more efficient units or to retrofit their RTUs with advanced controls in order to take advantage of substantial savings benefits. It's been a pleasure collaborating with ARC and seeing it grow.
So what's on the agenda for next month?
I'm looking forward to seeing more members at our Southeast regional meeting in North Carolina on May 4, at the DOE Better Buildings Summit in DC May 15-17, and at Sustainable Brands in Detroit May 22-25 where, for the first time, RILA is hosting a Retail Innovation Track (and offering an awesome special registration rate for retailers new to SB).
For more information about RILA's energy program, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.
Did you know updating a building's roof-top air conditioning system can reduce energy consumption by 20-50% and save up to $3,700 per unit? As more and more businesses look to find energy efficient solutions and lower costs, one nation-wide initiative is asking businesses to turn their focus to these roof-top units (RTUs). And it's working.
The Advanced RTU Campaign (ARC) encourages commercial building owners and occupants to replace RTUs with high-efficiency models, retrofit existing RTUs with advanced controllers, and/or continue quality maintenance of existing RTUs. The Campaign has over 200 supporters and over 80 participants from across several industries, including retail.
Each year, the ARC recognizes organizations for leadership and excellence in commercial building RTU efficiency through the ARC Awards. This year, awards were handed out at the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association's (PRSM) National Conference in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday, April 19.
Several retailers were recognized this year for their work as part of the ARC, including:
- Target Corporation, Highest Number of High-Efficiency Roof-Top Unit Installations & Highest Number of Advanced Roof-Top Unit Control Retrofits
- Ulta Beauty, Highest Percentage of RTU Portfolio Upgraded with High-Efficiency Installations Since 2013 & Most Successful Landlord/Tenant Arrangement for RTU Efficiency
- H&M, Highest Number of Advanced Automated Fault Detection and Diagnostic (AFDD) Installations on Roof-Top Units
- Giant Tiger Stores Ltd., Largest Efficiency Gain for a Single Building Roof-Top Unit Replacement Project
In addition to being recognized by the ARC, these retailers' investments in energy efficiency with RTUs has yielded real results for their business. By installing 372 high-efficiency RTUs and upgraded 360 existing units across 60 stores, Target will see an estimated savings of 11 million kWh, worth $1.1 million annually. Ulta upgraded 31.4% of their RTU inventory, which is expected to save them 13 million kWh and $1.3 million annually.
RILA is a co-organizer of the Advanced RTU Campaign with ASHRAE, Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Better Buildings Alliance.
To learn more visit here or contact Erin Hiatt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Erin Hiatt & Scott Wood
Best Buy is one of the largest and most well-known electronics retailers in the country. They offer virtually every technology product on the market, from flat screen TVs to cell phones to microwaves, and customers can experience these products first hand in stores every day. It's no surprise, then, that it takes quite a bit of energy to power a Best Buy store.
In 2015, Best Buy set an aggressive goal to reduce carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2020. To reach that goal, the company needs to significantly reduce energy usage in its retail stores. That's why the company recently set out to quantify just how much energy they were using and identify opportunities for energy savings.
After recognizing that plug loads (the energy used by products that are powered by means of an ordinary AC plug) were a significant source of energy consumption for the company, Best Buy named reducing plug load energy consumption as a priority.
They enlisted the help of Nitin Raviprasad, a fellow in the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corps program, to measure and analyze plug loads and to propose both process improvements and new technologies to better manage plug load. EDF Climate Corps is a summer fellowship program that embeds trained, custom-matched graduate students inside leading organizations to accelerate clean energy projects and strategy.
Nitin Raviprasad stands in front of display screens at Best Buy's Richfield, MN store.
Since 2008, over 400 organizations have enlisted EDF Climate Corps fellows to design customized solutions to challenges involving energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy management strategy, and much more. Best Buy participated in the program in the summer of 2016.
Raviprasad's analysis, which is detailed fully in a new case study published by RILA, resulted in more than a dozen solutions, from simple process changes to complex, integrated, long-term solutions.
With an additional investment of $8-10 million and if all of Raviprasad's recommendations are implemented by Best Buy, the retailer could save up to $3.3 million in energy costs per year, or a 3 to 4-percent reduction in energy costs per store. The process by which Best Buy designed its energy consumption analysis is transferable to retailers who need to research a variety of energy loads before piloting a solution.
To learn more about the EDF Climate Corps program, visit here. To access the full case study highlighting Best Buy's findings, visit here.
Erin Hiatt is RILA’s director of energy & sustainability. Scott Wood is manager of the EDF Climate Corps.
We are pleased to announce that the Retail Litigation Center (RLC) just filed its 100th amicus brief! The RLC was founded in 2010 to serve as the voice of the retail industry in the judicial branch. Our industry deserves policy representation across all three branches of government – legislative, executive and judicial. In our ongoing effort to help courts understand the retail community and the issues of greatest importance to it, we have filed briefs of our own, led retail and business coalition briefs, and lent the retail industry's voice to the amicus briefs of other significant organizations. Collectively, these efforts now total 100 briefs filed.
In our 100th brief, the RLC supported the petition for certiorari filed by Macy's in Macy's v. NLRB. Our brief asks the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Fifth Circuit's decision to affirm the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB's) determination that a "microunion" of cosmetics employees in a store was appropriate for bargaining purposes, even though the majority of employees in the same store voted against the union when the union tried to organize the store as a whole. The RLC's brief explains the importance of the longstanding presumption that the "whole store" is the appropriate bargaining unit in the retail context as well as the harm that will be caused to retail employees, customers and retail companies if the NLRB's ruling is allowed to stand.
This brief is just one of the 100 examples (and counting!) of how the RLC informs courts about the retail industry's perspectives on significant legal issues and highlights the potential industry-wide impact of pending cases. If you'd like to look back at some of our other efforts, a full list of our briefs can be found here.
The Retail Litigation Center is grateful for the support that it has received from its board of directors (past and present), as well as its retail members and its law firm members – the RLC could not have reached this milestone without the strong support we received from this community.
We look forward to continuing our ongoing efforts, even as we launch new initiatives to strengthen our participation in the judicial process. Stay tuned for more information about our future endeavors and please join our community if you are not yet a member!
Retail Litigation Center
"The voice of retail in the judicial branch -- 100 briefs strong."
Today, you may have seen many women wearing red to commemorate National Equal Pay Day. Recognizing the contributions made by women in the workforce is an important step towards changing our national dialogue. As our nation focuses on bridging the gender pay gap, it's important to highlight the great strides industries like retail are making in creating opportunity and success for women in the workforce.
As the nation's second largest private sector employer, the retail industry supports over 42 million American jobs, over 50 percent of which are held by women. From supply chain to store to c-suite, retail's reach is wide. We take pride in leading the way in career training, wage growth, workforce development, and innovation for women of all backgrounds and skill levels. In fact, Catalyst, a leading nonprofit organization with a mission to accelerate progress for women in the workplace found that women make up 41 percent of first/mid-level managers and over 30 percent of executive leadership in retail.
Last week, Gap Inc. headed to Capitol Hill to discuss the importance of advancing women in the workforce and highlight its record of gender pay equality. In a hearing before the Republican Policy Committee, Gap Inc. executive Debbie Maples, shared her own success story and the story of her company's commitment to promoting women within their ranks. Over 47 percent of Gap Inc.'s CEO executive leadership team and 68 percent of store managers are women. As the first Fortune 500 company to announce equal pay for equal work in 2014, Gap Inc. provided its methodology and data to a leading gender and diversity firm, which validated the company's findings. As a result, Gap Inc. has committed to conducting an annual internal pay equality review using this approved methodology.
Gap Inc. is just one of many retailers supporting women in the workforce. Wal-Mart, along with nine consumer-focused corporations, announced their partnership to source from certified women-owned businesses over the next five years. In its announcement Wal-Mart president and CEO Doug McMillon said, "We believe supporting women-owned businesses helps us put innovative products on our shelves while helping these businesses thrive and grow." Wal-Mart has also helped fund the creation of the "Women-Owned" logo which certified women-owned suppliers can utilize at any retailer to showcase their products to consumers.
Retail is the training ground for women in the workforce. There are countless success stories of women who have turned their retail first job into life-long careers. Take for example Ann-Marie Campbell. Ann-Marie began her career at The Home Depot in 1985 as a cashier in South Florida and is now the executive vice president of The Home Depot's U.S. Stores. From her first retail job she now leads the company's three U.S. operating divisions comprised of nearly 2,000 U.S. stores and the bulk of the company's nearly 400,000 associates.
These are only a few of the countless examples of retail opening doors for women. Whether women are stepping into the workforce, seeking a leg up, or establishing a long-lasting career, America's retail industry is offering more jobs and career opportunity to women than virtually any other.
Sandy Kennedy is the President of the Retail Industry Leaders Association
- Trump's "America First" theme is reflected in "hard-power budget" that prioritizes military and border enforcement while cutting diplomatic programs and operations
- "Fair and secure trade" is new messaging coming out of the White House on trade, though Trump has promoted "free and fair trade"
- Trade enforcement funding is bolstered, while data for future trade negotiations may suffer due to cut
- While Congress holds the purse strings, it remains to be seen whether Republicans in control of the House of Representatives and Senate agree with Trump on cutting funding to these various trade functions within the federal government
What we know
Earlier this month, President Trump released his "skinny" budget proposal to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2018. Bottom line, the budget blueprint puts the federal government on a diet.
The Office Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney is in charge of cooking up the U.S. budget and making sure the Trump Administration doesn't overspend. Mulvaney describes how this budget does that by shrinking the government, driving efficiencies, and going after wasteful and duplicative programs.
The White House's topline message is: "America First." That was Trump's message in his inauguration speech in January and you're seeing that theme woven throughout his budget proposal.
The Administration has called this a "hard-power budget" that sends the message to our allies and adversaries that it is being intentional. For example, the budget proposes boosting spending on defense ($54 billion increase) and ponying up money for border enforcement, including paying for the proposed border wall with Mexico ($1.5 billion to start this year, then $2.6 billion in FY18).
Why is it "skinny"?
First, it's expected that the first annual budget is short. But just on length alone, Trump's budget is more condensed when compared to previous incoming President's budgets.
While there is not much meat on the bone, there are several important budget lines to note that will specifically impact the way America trades and with whom we trade.
How is trade prioritized in those 53 pages?
U.S. Department of Commerce
The President's budget requests $7.8 billion for the Commerce Department, a $1.5 billion or 16 percent
decrease from 2017. Commerce oversees the promotion of American businesses and enforcing U.S. trade remedy laws, among other responsibilities like conducting the census and maintaining weather satellites.
The budget suggests that the International Trade Administration's (ITA) trade enforcement and compliance functions, including the anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations which are administered by the Import Administration, would be strengthened. Last fall, I predicted that the Trump Administration would prioritize trade enforcement and it's becoming more likely that Commerce will self-initiate trade remedy cases.
Conversely, ITA's trade analysis would be "rescaled", meaning that the numbers used for trade negotiations may come at a slower pace. And the data for Commerce's self-initiated cases may either take longer to collect or perhaps be less reliable. The budget also cuts funding export promotion. As a result, U.S. exporters may be on their own when it comes to marketing their products in foreign markets.
But the part that stumps me is that the Administration is focusing on enforcing laws that promote fair and secure trade. We've heard Trump talk about his support for "free and fair" trade, most recently in the press conference with Germany. However, this "secure trade" term isn't found anywhere in U.S. law or in any prior Administration statements, so it's unclear what this means.
Retailers should ensure accuracy in their trade compliance programs and review their supply chains to prepare for this increased trade enforcement posture.
U.S. Department of State
The President's budget requests $25.6 billion in base funding for the State Department and USAID, a $10.1 billion or 28 percent reduction from 2017. A quarter of the State Department's budget would be eliminated and any remaining funds would be used to refocus economic and development assistance to countries with greatest strategic importance to the United States. How countries such as South Korea, which hosts nearly 30 U.S. military facilities, and Germany, which hosts nearly 40 U.S. military facilities, are prioritized within this ranking system is yet to be seen.
Foreign aid is used to build capacity abroad to ensure government and economic stability and provide technical assistance such as trade facilitation. In total, the U.S. foreign assistance budget makes up only 1 percent of the total federal budget of over $4 trillion. There's a lot of misunderstanding about how foreign aid is used and how we measure America's return on investment.
In addition, Trump's FY18 budget proposal also cuts funding for multilateral development banks, including the World Bank, by approximately $650 million over three years. The U.S. would remain a top donor, but opportunities to reduce global poverty and grow the size of the middle-class, who are our target customers, around the world would be slowed.
The budget also proposes to eliminate the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, which for decades has worked with partner nations to modernize air, surface and maritime infrastructure to facilitate the movement of goods and people. Abolishing this agency could mean the loss of critical public-private infrastructure partnerships and opportunities to export goods and services in sectors where U.S. businesses are most competitive.
Retailers may need to seek new private partnerships for trade capacity building in foreign markets rather than relying on U.S. federal funds or initiatives.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
The President's budget requests $44.1 billion for the Homeland Security Department (DHS), a $2.8 billion or 6.8 percent increase 2017. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is housed within DHS, but there's no mention about the $46 billion in duties, taxes, and fees collected by CBP, a large revenue source for the federal government after taxes paid to the Internal Revenue Service. No further investment to facilitate trade at the border or enforce U.S. trade laws, which may be a sign that this Administration is going to prioritize security over trade facilitation.
Instead, the focus of DHS's budget was on security and immigration enforcement, including the construction of a border wall along the southern border with Mexico. There was also $15 million more dedicated to the E-verify program, which is a voluntary (though mandatory in some states) internet-based system that helps businesses determine new hire eligibility to work in the United States. The budget also proposes to raise the Passenger Security Fee to recover 75 percent of the cost of aviation security operations, which means your business travel may get more expensive.
While immigration will continue to be a priority for this Administration, retailers should continue to advocate for a balanced prioritization of trade facilitation and trade enforcement.
U.S. Department of Treasury
The President's budget requests $12.1 billion for the Treasury Department's domestic programs, a $519 million or 4.1 percent decrease 2017. While the priority is set on collecting revenue due to the federal government, Treasury's resources will be focused on collecting revenue, managing the Nation's debt, protecting the financial system from threats, and combating financial crime and terrorism financing.
U.S. Department of Labor
The President's budget requests $9.6 billion for the Labor Department, a
$2.5 billion or 21 percent decrease from 2017. While much of DOL's funding is dedicated to domestic workforce issues, the Trump Administration's proposal would refocus the Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) on ensuring that U.S.trade agreements are fair for American workers. The budget eliminates $60 million in grant funding because it is "largely noncompetitive and unproven." However, many of these grants are used by non-governmental organizations to build capacity in the same foreign countries that the Trump Administration wants to review for their labor practices.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
The President's budget requests $17.9 billion for the Agriculture Department, a $4.7 billion or 21 percent decrease from 2017 (excluding food aid). While food safety inspection programs will be fully funded to protect our nation's food supply, statistical capabilities that help commodity farmers and trade negotiators analyze trade data will be cut.
In addition, the budget proposal eliminates the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program due to the lack of evidence that it is being effectively implemented to reduce food security. For U.S. agricultural commodity farmers, this program has helped send surplus agricultural products to developing countries where food security is an issue. While it's likely to be considered "soft power" by this Administration, it comes at a potential opportunity lost to U.S. agricultural producers.
Role of Congress
One thing to keep in mind is that Congress holds the purse strings. However, as the leader of the Republican Party, Trump's budget proposal does provide guidance for Republicans in the House of Representatives and Senate to cut funding to these various trade functions within the federal government.
Also, how Congress deals with the growing national debt that's approaching $20 trillion is yet to be seen. The critical question is whether Congress will go back to balancing the budget, which the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated to be about a $488 billion deficit in FY18, and how those difficult decisions about where to invest will bolster trade and economic opportunity for American companies and workers.
Let me know if any of these programs are important to you.
Last week, over two days, 28 members of RILA's Tax Committee met with tax staff in 33 Senate Republican offices to discuss tax reform and urge opposition to the border adjustable tax (BAT) proposed in the House. The Tax Executives were divided into four teams, each led by a member of RILA's Government Affairs team. Each team participated in eight or nine meetings. "It was good having the participation of so many members of RILA's Tax Committee in our two days of Hill visits on the BAT/Tax Reform. I think we are having an impact on the debate and I commend RILA for organizing these meetings" said Becky Slayman, Corporate Tax Director for Big Lots and Chairman of RILA's Tax Committee.
Our message, which was overwhelmingly well received in our meetings, was that we strongly urge Senators to oppose the BAT, which would force consumers to pay as much as 20 percent more for household essentials, as well as put retail jobs and companies at risk. In addition, we continued to emphasize that the retail sector currently pays among the highest effective tax rates of all industries and that we continue to support tax reform that significantly reduces the corporate tax rate as well as benefits consumers.
RILA member companies participating in the Hill visits were: 7-Eleven, Abercrombie & Fitch, Advance Auto Parts, Best Buy, Big Lots, Burlington Stores, Costco, DICK's Sporting Goods, Dollar Tree, DSW, Foot Locker, Gap, IKEA, J.C. Penney, Jo-Ann Stores, Lowe's, QVC, Rite Aid, Target, Ulta, and Walmart.
If you have any questions, please contact Dave Koenig, vice president of tax, at email@example.com.
For retailers looking to expand or even jumpstart their energy and sustainability programs, RILA recently released updated leadership models designed to help both sustainability executives and energy managers benchmark and identify opportunities for improvement. The Retail Sustainability Leadership Model and the Retail Energy Management Leadership Model are results of input from retailers and outside experts, including government, non-profit, and other industry organizations.
Below are highlights from each of the models.
Retail Sustainability Leadership Model
- Identifies management practices that will drive improved corporate and environmental performance
- Divided into seven categories: strategy & commitment, people & tools, visibility, retail operations, supply chain, products, and sustainability/CSR issues
- Within each category, there are five dimensions with which to define progress: initiating, processing, excelling, leading, and transforming
- Retailers can use the Model to identify areas for improvement, evaluate gaps, and advance sustainability as a priority within the organization
Retail Energy Leadership Model
- Identifies possible pathways to strong energy management programs in retail
- Divided into six categories: strategy & commitment, resource investment, people & tools, projects & data, and visibility
- Within each category, there are five dimensions with which to define progress: initiating, processing, excelling, leading, and transforming
- Individual companies can identify the dimensions that offer the highest leverage opportunities for improvement
The 2017 Models are the third and fourth iteration of the tools, respectively, since 2014 and are accompanied by Sustainability and Energy Management Resource Libraries. RILA also surveys its members on where their programs fall on the Models; the results from which will be summarized in a report later this year. These resources are all part of RILA's larger Retail Sustainability Committee and Retail Energy Management Program.
For more information about these programs or to learn more about the models, contact RILA's director of energy, sustainability & research Erin Hiatt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week the American Bankers Association and Wall Street's largest banks are hitting the Hill and urging Congress to repeal hard-fought debit swipe fee reform. These reforms have not only saved consumers billions, but inserted competition into the marketplace where there was none.
Despite Wall Street seeing a record-breaking $1 trillion in profits since the financial crisis, they still want more. They said as much in a letter to House Leadership on Friday.
Repealing swipe fee reform will just be another windfall for the largest banks in America on the backs of the merchant community. Don't fall for the rhetoric coming from Wall Street—they're doing just fine.
The Internet can be used as a powerful tool to conduct asset protection investigations or it can quickly overwhelm you with too many choices, confuse you about which sources can be trusted, and waste an incredible amount of your valuable time.
But don't worry because help is on the way.
Cynthia Hetherington, president of The Hetherington Group, and a trained and experienced online investigator, will lead the general session, "Internet Investigations," at the Retail Asset Protection Conference 2017, Hyatt Regency New Orleans, April 9-12, 2017.
During the session, Hetherington will review the best online sources for asset protection investigators and provide tips on conducting searches discreetly to avoid confrontation or alarm.
Hetherington is a certified fraud examiner and has more than 20 years of experience in research, investigations, and corporate intelligence. She also holds two master's degrees—library science and management.
Well-known for her expertise in employee theft prevention and detection, intellectual property loss, database research, business fraud prevention and detection, and asset location and recovery, she also has experience overseeing international investigations for Fortune 500 companies and other organizations in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.
Register for the Retail Asset Protection Conference 2017 today and make sure to attend Hetherington's session," Internet Investigations" on Tuesday, April 11, 1:15 p.m.– 2:15 p.m.