Like all business activities, programs are fueled by developing systems that promote the expansion of resources, activities, expertise, and benefits of that particular initiative over time. Retail sustainability programs are following this very same dynamic. Once an organization overcomes static friction and forms a sustainability program, its success stories further solidify the business case for sustainability, and executives take note. Senior management warms up to a broader range of potential activities. Increased confidence and commitment expands the program’s resources and allows the scope of sustainability efforts to broaden, building momentum for a company’s sustainability activities.

Top performers take advantage of this development dynamic by leveraging the key ingredients for success, namely engaging executives, investing in people and systems, measuring and tracking progress, setting goals, and storytelling. These top-performing companies define their sustainability program to include the widest breadth of issues—from facilities’ environmental impact reduction to supply chain and stakeholder engagement—and recognize the broadest benefits from it.

We look forward to continuing to engage retail executives on the sustainability journey and sharing as the industry evolves its programs.