devoted to optimizing operational sustainability were recognized by Newsweek
magazine for their green leadership within the industry. Forty-two retailers,
including department stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, discounters and
specialty stores were listed on this year’s Newsweek
Green Rankings 2012 list. Of those listed, 23 are members of the Retail
Industry Leaders Association (RILA) including Staples, Best Buy, The Home
Depot, Wal-Mart, Target, JC Penney, Sears Holdings, and Whole Foods listed in
the retail top ten list.
“Having so many RILA member companies represented in Newsweek’s
Green List reflects the industry’s dedication to identify and implement
sustainable practices. Retailers that have launched green initiatives recognize
the substantial business and societal benefits of doing so. Companies that are
successful in these efforts will be stronger in the short- and long-term for
it,” said Adam Siegel, vice president of sustainability and retail
operations for RILA.
sited 88 percent of the total environmental footprint of retail companies as
identified in water use, greenhouse-gas emissions, and general waste generation
and disposal combined. The Green Rankings recognize those company’s efforts
addressing their environmental impacts by setting long-term targets and
implementing companywide operational sustainability programs.
awarded Staples a management environmental score of 83.9, recognizing the
company’s efforts to engage suppliers to reduce packaging. Their program, Race
to the Top promotes healthy competition by calling on suppliers to develop
innovate packaging techniques that use fewer or alternative materials.
Buy ranked third in the industry, touting its aggressive recycling goal of one
billion pounds of electronic items by the end of 2014. Best Buy offers
consumers a wide-range of recycling options before and after a product
purchase. The Buy Back program gives consumers the opportunity to purchase in
to the program by exchanging their unwanted products for a Best Buy gift card,
a trade-in program allows consumers to obtain a Best Buy gift card for select
used electronics, and free recycling options help consumers safely dispose of
received a disclosure score of 75.8 for their reporting and involvement in key
transparency projects. Their goal of removing 20 million metric tons of
greenhouse-gas emissions from their supply chain by 2015 involves suppliers and
outside organizations to identify the areas with the most potential to improve.
In return, Wal-Mart has launched efforts to develop projects and systems that
are transferable across suppliers and countries.
Depot and Target were also recognized by Newsweek for their efforts within the
community. Home Depot identifies opportunities to build stores using local and
recycled materials and planting zones that seek to eliminate or reduce the
irrigation needed to maintain store landscaping. Target aims to be highly
rooted in the localities by community giving for schools and libraries. In
addition, Target encourages their team members to volunteer with
Holdings Corporation received the 2012 Energy Star Corporate Commitment Award
by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their programs in energy
management, energy-efficient product retailing, and consumer outreach.
“Sustainability has become a core consideration for the retail
industry, affecting strategy, operations, workforce engagement, and connection
to consumers and communities,” said Siegel. “As retailers continue to innovate
ways in reaching their ever-evolving sustainability goals, addressing the
challenges requires not only collaboration, but a shared vision as an
has made a commitment to driving leadership in retail sustainability. Through
the Retail Sustainability Initiative (RSI), RILA has hosted five successful
annual sustainability conferences, attracting over 450 sustainability and
compliance professionals from the retail industry to discuss best practices,
develop collaborations, and identify future trends. The next Retail
Sustainability Conference will be held in September, 2013.
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