This website showcases the successes, challenges, and a vision for the future of the retail industry's sustainability efforts. The website and 2012 Retail Sustainability Report were developed by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies.
INTRODUCTION TO THE RETAIL INDUSTRY'S SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS
For some retailers sustainability was built into their core values from the beginning; for others it has been embraced only more recently. Regardless of its origin, sustainability is becoming a core consideration for the retail industry, affecting strategy, operations, workforce engagement, and connection to consumers and communities.
Retailers are evaluating their direct store, distribution center, and supply chain operations to uncover cost-saving and workforce-enhancing opportunities. While sustainability programs are reducing energy, greenhouse gases, waste, and toxic chemicals, employees throughout the organization are being empowered to find even more innovations.
Further, the retail industry is evolving to meet the changing needs of consumers and communities. As one of the most notable evolutions of the past decade, consumers have become progressively more concerned about their environmental and social impact. This concern has manifested in an increased demand for environmentally-friendly products, a rise in the availability of organic foods, and more.
This report seeks to highlight sustainability trends in the retail industry, shedding light on retail’s evolving business practices and the challenges the industry still faces. The broader objective is to provide the retail industry and those it serves with a way to act on and engage in sustainability, through framing the critical issues, anticipating future trends, recognizing challenges, and sharing examples of how retailers are responding.
While the retail industry has made great progress toward addressing sustainability issues, it recognizes there is still more work to be done. This report is intended to start a dialogue by illustrating the industry’s activities, challenges, and potential future directions.
Learn more by downloading the full report using the form to the right.
We welcome and encourage your questions, comments, and feedback.