Most states do not make inspection reports publicly available, so we faced a major hurdle out of the gate. But that didn't stop us. We developed a comprehensive process that involved the collection of thousands of records from online databases and direct correspondence with state environmental regulatory agencies. We then analyzed and summarized retail-relevant records so that retailers could gain useful enforcement insight to optimize their environmental compliance program and stay ahead of enforcement in 2018 and beyond!
We looked at 2017 enforcement actions in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Washington state – and here's what we found.
- Gas stations received the highest total number of enforcement actions.
- Underground Storage Tank (UST) violations occured in 9 out of 10 states we examined.
- Hazardous waste violations occurred in 7 out of 10 states we examined.
Some State-Specific Observations:
- New York was the only state we observed with Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) violations.
- Both Washington and Florida experienced greater than a 100% increase in enforcement actions from 2016 to 2017.
- North Carolina received the most enforcement actions with 468 being issued to a variety of retailers for hazardous waste and Underground Storage Tank (UST) violations.
- Ohio saw not only enforcement actions, but also several inspections that focused on stormwater compliance.
- In California we saw enforcement action around pesticide products for failure to properly register and label products.
Do you operate stores in one of these states? For the full breakdown of enforcement actions by state, including a heat map showing actions by county, take a look at our reports here.
To discuss more about how these enforcement reports can help you optimize your environmental compliance program and stay prepared for 2018, please contact Andrew Sousa at email@example.com.
Are you a retailer operating in multiple states or planning to expand your operations to other states? If so, join us on Friday, April 20 for our free webinar State Variations in Hazardous Waste Regulations, where we dive deeper into hazardous waste regulations at both the federal and state levels.
Why Are There Variations Among the States?
At the federal level, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) governs the management of solid and hazardous waste, however, some states have more stringent requirements than the corresponding federal rules. This is because most states have approval from the federal government to apply state law, which includes all the RCRA requirements, but is sometimes more stringent than RCRA.
Let's look at California as an example. The federal rules with regards to determining if an unsalable product is a hazardous waste based on the toxicity characteristic, provide one single definition to follow. In stark contrast, California has 8 different definitions that need to be considered to determine if an unsalable product is a hazardous waste based on the toxicity characteristic!
What Can Retailers Do?
To better understand State Variations in Hazardous Waste Regulations, sign up for our FREE April webinar as we take a deep dive into U.S. hazardous waste regulations in retail, including important state differences and implementation of the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule.
When most of us think of hazardous waste, we typically think of large volumes of dangerous chemicals stored in steel drums. It may surprise you then, that almost all retail facilities generate some waste that could be considered hazardous. This is because under the regulations there are many household products that are considered hazardous waste when damaged, expired or unsaleable. While consumers can throw these products in the trash, retailers cannot and are required to follow strict hazardous waste procedures.
What does this all mean for retailers? Stores may be subjected to the same hazardous waste generator regulations as a steel mill or chemical plant. Not only are these regulations (developed with drastically different industries in mind) burdensome, but they can be difficult to implement and an even bigger challenge to comply with across multiple states.
So What Can Retailers Do?
The Center for Retail Compliance, an initiative of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), has launched a Spring Hazardous Waste Webinar Series and eLearning focused on helping retailers understand their responsibilities, navigate the complexities of state variations in hazardous waste regulations, and optimize their environmental programs to minimize risk and avoid fines and penalties.
Explore hazardous waste management in retail by registering for the webinar series & taking our brand-new eLearning.
Leadership and planning are essential in creating and maintaining an effective compliance program. Strong leadership encourages the long-term commitment and continuous improvement that drive superior performance. The Compliance Leadership Model (CLM) shows aspects of organizational leadership and compliance planning for different program levels.
This is a guest blog post by Jeff Ashcroft of SupplyChainNetwork.com.
Really enjoyed my time at this week's RILA Supply Chain conference and as I highlighted in my pre-conference blogpost several transformative technologies are all now moving into their early implementation phases at the same time.
Times like these, when surrounded by the sharing of many new ideas and forward looking professionals often helps to draw out and crystallize thoughts on topics such as the impending state of supply chain singularity now rapidly approaching.
This represents a rare and unique opportunity for supply chain designers, planners, IT resources, engineers and operators to come together to jointly understand, integrate and synergize these technologies to the betterment of their supply chains, the environment and most importantly the end customer.
The ultimate goal is to understand, tool up for and deliver a unified customer experience where 'unichannel' means bringing together a harmonized view and execution capability for all possible product and delivery channels to the customer or even stores for that matter.
Key to success in this monumental transformation will be to bring your supply chain to the most local of levels AND at the same time automate these micro-fulfillment locations for speed, accuracy, lowest cost and environmental impact to fulfill on a near immediate basis to both consumers and stores.
The emerging technologies of which I speak are Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Robotics, Alternative & Big Data and last but not least Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help us make sense of all the former and ultimately take all the right actions in a timely manner.
All of these technologies need to be implemented in unison through a well thought out and co-ordinated plan. Unless this is done the geometric benefits available from true convergence will never materialize or be achieved by your supply chain.
The converged supply chain of the future is all about concentric layers fully interconnected at the most granular levels of plans, items and activities covering every aspect of your supply chain and related supply chains where synergies are possible.
In her keynote Sona Chawla the Chief Operating Officer of Kohl's referred to the discovery and capture of many micro-efficiencies within the Kohl's supply chain everyday to continuously improve performance, service and results.
In the coming supply chain singularity, such improvements will be embedded in the very systems and processes of planning, monitoring, adjusting, operating and collaborating with all related providers and adjacent supply chains to operate in unison.
So ready or not welcome to the imminent future of logistics complexity, where success will depend on understanding, mastering (or hiring people/providers who understand) all of these technologies and how they effectively fit together allowing you to build out and deliver on this critical vision of supply chain singularity.
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This week, RILA hosted top executives in retail supply chain for three jam-packed days of networking and education in Phoenix, Arizona. With an all-star lineup of speakers and record number of attendees, this year's Retail Supply Chain Conference was a huge success!
For those who were unable to join us, we've put together recaps of each day, including pictures and top social moments of the conference. Use the links below to explore and learn more about how the retail industry is reimagining the supply chain and accelerating what's possible.
The date has already been set for the 2019 Retail Supply Chain Conference. We look forward to seeing you all February 24-27, 2019 in Orlando, Florida!
Over the last 20 years, the retail industry has changed drastically. But with all the advancements in technology and changes in shopping habits, for retailers, one thing remains the same – the consumer is still number one. That means creating personalized and streamlined shopping experiences and delivering innovative, high-quality and safe products.
RILA maintains a committee of the retail industry's leading product safety and regulatory compliance executives and in-house counsel to help RILA members navigate the wide range of statutes and regulations applicable to consumer products. Together, these executives share best practices, collaborate on shared challenges, and discuss emerging trends to make sure the retail industry remains a leader in compliance and consumer safety.
This week, RILA hosted its Consumer Products Committee for an annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. Highlights from the event are below:
- Acting Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Ann Marie Buerkle addressed the group to share some of the agency's priorities and outlook for the year
- Best Buy's Director of Product Safety and Compliance Tim Cassidy presented a case study on the company's chemical management program
- Walmart's Senior Director of Product Safety and Compliance Jay Howell shared how the retailer is using artificial intelligence, natural language processing and machine learning to improve product safety compliance
- The co-chairs of Mintz Levin, PC's consumer product safety practice Matt R. Howsare and Chuck Samuels presented an overview of emerging topics in consumer product safety
With over 70 consumer product safety professionals in attendance, the meeting also served as a unique opportunity for candid benchmarking discussions among industry peers.
Here are what some attendees said about participating in the event:
"The level of candor and collaboration is outstanding." – L Brands
"Nowhere else do so many like-minded professionals come together on a regular basis to do the right thing." – Big Lots
"It is a terrific opportunity to gather intelligence data on how the industry is operating." – Target
To learn more about RILA's Consumer Products Committee, please contact Kathleen McGuigan, RILA's senior vice president and deputy general counsel.
In just a few days, we'll be bringing together top supply chain professionals from across the retail industry for our 2018 Retail Supply Chain Conference in Phoenix. The educational content and the caliber and quality of speakers that make up the agenda are a large part of what makes the event the best-in-class, must-attend event for retail supply chain executives. It's not too late to register now and prepare to gain insights to answer questions like:
What are the most valuable leadership lessons of the retail industry's top executives?
Kohl's Chief Operating Officer Sona Chawla will open the conference with firsthand insights on becoming a best-in-class omnichannel retailer, navigating today's fulfillment landscape, meeting the customer where she is and the supply chain of the future. The top supply chain executive from The Home Depot, Walgreen, and Walmart, will present their unique approaches to the complex challenges facing retail supply chains today.
What do the latest technologies transforming retail logistics mean for my supply chain?
From drones to AI to self-driving trucks, we have several sessions planned featuring leaders in supply chain solutions and retail technology to help you stay up-to-date on the innovations just around the corner. We'll have leaders from Google Express, IBM, DHL, and more discussing how these technologies are revolutionizing the way retailers deliver products to consumers.
How are America's largest retailers accelerating their own supply chains?
Hear directly from supply chain pros from Walmart, Five Below, PUMA North America, and more as they share how their companies are approaching supply chain management in the digital age. They'll cover everything from network design to fulfillment strategies to growth strategies, and more.
How will the current political and economic climate affect your supply chain?
Forbes Publisher, Editor-at-Large, and Global Futurist Rich Karlgaard will lead a session on the U.S. and global economic outlook for 2018, focused on the rapid evolution of technology and how it will continue to alter the business landscape. Additional sessions will focus on the ongoing NAFTA renegotiations and their effects on retail operations throughout the continent, President Trump's trade policies and their impacts on global value chains, and, as infrastructure continues to become a hot button issue in Washington, we've added a diverse panel of the Executive Directors from West Coast, Gulf Coast, and East Coast ports to discuss the latest developments and key issues facing our ports today.
Where do I find "big picture" inspiration?
Retail Prophet Doug Stephens will give an amazing tour of the future, where the retail experience as we know it will be radically transformed. As we consider ways to navigate that change, Jake Woods, co-founder and president of Team Rubicon, will draw upon lessons learned in working with veteran volunteers responding to catastrophic eventsto provide a framework for becoming a better leader and building more agile organizations. Activist and Author Elizabeth Smart sharing her incredible story of perseverance in the face of unimaginable adversity.
Have more questions? See a speaker or session that interests you? Explore the agenda and register now for the 2018 Retail Supply Chain Conference. We can't wait to welcome you to Phoenix!
Prior to the passage of historic tax reform legislation in 2017, the retail industry paid one of the highest effective tax rates of all industries. Long-time advocates for reform, retailers fought for legislation that would allow them to create jobs, increase investments in their communities, and ease the burden on consumers. In fact, it was one year ago today that RILA led a group of retail CEOs to the White House to talk tax reform with newly-elected President Trump. Now, with meaningful tax reform finally a reality in the U.S., retailers are making good on their word.
Just a few months after the president signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, several retailers have already made announcements regarding wage increases, expansion of benefits, and bonuses for employees. Below are a few highlights.
"Apple commits to contribute over $350 billion into US economy over the next five years" – The Verge
to hike wages, introduce paid parental leave with windfall from new tax law”
"Lowe's to give some employees bonuses of up to $1,000 and expand benefits due to tax reform" - CNBC
In addition to highlighting the benefits of the historic tax reform legislation, these commitments signal retailers' ongoing investment in their workforce and showcase retail as an industry of opportunity for employees at all career stages.
To learn more about retailers and tax reform, visit here.
Infrastructure has become a bit of a hot button issue here in Washington lately. With tax reform over the finish line, the President has turned his attention to his next big agenda item: rebuilding our nation's infrastructure.
This is welcomed news for America's retailers, who have long argued that our current infrastructure lacks the efficiency and predictablity needed to keep our economy competitive around the globe. An estimated 2.5 billion tons of exports and imports, valued at over $2 trillion, moves across the U.S. border annually.
Yet despite this economic impact, ports nationwide are constrained by aging infrastrucutre, lack of automation, difficulty in handling modern "mega-vessels," and face a reoccuring prospect of shutdown due to contract issues. The resulting inefficiency inhibits the flow of imports and exports, increasing costs for American businesses and consumers.
That's why ensuring our ports and transportation network are equipped to support the modern economy and the millions of jobs that rely upon it is a key priority for retailers in 2018.
In a recently released legislative outline, the Administration details a framework for repairing and rebuilding the infrastructure and transportation system in the U.S. For retailers, this is an encouraging sign that we're one step closer to improving the roads, bridges, and waterways that the industry relies on to transport goods to consumers.
We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration on this issue moving forward, highlighting the important value that an updated transportation network provides to jobs and the economy in the U.S.
Infrastructure will also be a topic of discussion at RILA's 2018 Retail Supply Chain Conference, just a few weeks away. See the full agenda and register here.
Learn more about RILA's efforts advocating for an updated American infrastructure here.