The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Paladino and Company, Inc., a leading sustainability and green building consulting firm, led a collaborative discussion with some of the industry’s largest retailers and commercial shopping center developers, putting a sharp focus on bridging the current landlord and tenant divide that exists around creating sustainable, energy efficient retail stores in the U.S. Participants included retailers Wal-Mart, PETCO, Ann Taylor, Target, VF Corporation, and Best Buy; and developers Westfield, Vornado and Kimco, among others.
The June 9 roundtable forum, held in Washington, DC, was the first step in an initial six-month collaboration to identify adoptable industry solutions to tackle current barriers and issues around investing in sustainable and energy efficient stores and retail centers.
The goal of the collaboration is to explore solutions to the “landlord/tenant divide” specifically for retail, in which progress towards more sustainable lease agreements is limited by market conditions and practices that make it difficult to align return with initial investment in “green” practices or technologies. To date, much of the conversation around the topic has concentrated on the commercial office market. It is envisioned that the effort will collectively move the retail industry towards more sustainable business operations, resulting in financial opportunities for the parties involved.
“We had an extremely constructive meeting,” said Letitia Webster, director of global corporate sustainability for VF Corporation. “There was great dialogue on how to focus our efforts to increase energy efficiency, reduce waste, and enhance the overall shopping experience for consumers in order to create win-win situations for both retailers and landlords.”
“It is clear that both retailers and landlords are making significant investments in environmental sustainability independently, but ultimately, we will have more success working together” said Hugh Cherne, senior manager of environmental sustainability for Best Buy Co. Inc. and Chair of RILA's Energy and GHG Emissions Committee “This meeting was a great opportunity to get the conversation started and take a look at how best to team up and work on reducing our environmental impact.”
The cross-industry discussion brought to light several key building-lifecycle priorities shared by both landlords and retailers, including:
•Collaborative design and construction practices that capitalize on leading energy efficiency methods
•Deal structures designed to incentivize energy and waste reduction in ways that are financially beneficial to all parties
•Landlord and tenant operational strategies to continuously improve energy and recycling performance
Additionally, the meeting identified tactical opportunities for landlords and tenants to consider as they collaborate to bring more green retail shopping experiences to consumers:
•Energy and waste stream measurement and tracking mechanisms at store-level to incentivize individual stores to reduce their consumption
•Onsite power generation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while financially benefitting both landlords and retailers
•Developing cooperative structures for green investments, including common area maintenance charges
•Standardizing green lease language in ways that provide the flexibility necessary to accommodate the diversity of shopping centers and retail types, while still achieving the priorities above
•Educational materials for landlords, tenants, and key other industry stakeholders
A final report on findings, including guidance, is expected to culminate at RILA’s Retail Sustainability Conference in October and ICSC’s RetailGreen Conference in November. To request a copy, please contact Adam Siegel, vice president of sustainability and retail operations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA)
RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.
About The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)
Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry.
Its more than 55,000 members in over 90 countries include shopping center owners,
developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as
academics and public officials. As the global industry trade association, ICSC links with more
than 25 national and regional shopping center councils throughout the world. For more
information, visit www.icsc.org.
About Paladino and Company
Paladino and Company, Inc. is an internationally recognized sustainability and green building consulting firm that helps organizations align business growth with the long term health and vitality of the planet. The firm’s specialized team of architects, engineers, and business analysts work collaboratively with building owners and their teams to create high performance green buildings and companies, resulting in environmentally responsible development and reduced total cost of ownership. Paladino is a member of RILA and is a sponsor of RILA’s energy and greenhouse gas emissions committee, which serves as a forum for retailers such as JC Penney, Bust Buy, IKEA and Target to indentify and establish best practices for the optimizations of energy use within the retail environment. For more information, visit www.paladinoandco.com or call 206-522-7600.
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