The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA)'s 2015 Retail Sustainability Conference continued today in Austin, Texas with more opportunities for networking, in-depth discussions on pressing sustainability issues, and hands-on professional development workshops.
The day began with a series of flash talks on critical sustainability topics by experts from inside and outside the industry. Among those presenting were Christy Consley, former Jamba Juice Company senior vice president of HR & corporate sustainability, Will Wynn, sustainability advisor and former mayor of Austin, and Cal Lankton, director of global EV infrastructure for Tesla Motors. In addition, attendees were offered several topical workshops, which focus on leadership, development, and innovation in the retail sustainability sector.
Following a networking lunch in The Spark, RILA's interactive exhibit hall, there were seven retailer-led case study presentations designed to give conference attendees a deeper dive into best practices and current challenges facing the industry.
In a case study titled "Creating a Compliance Program That Works for You," Stephanie Caiati, director of environmental health and safety for Dollar Tree, offered industry insight on addressing some of the toughest compliance issues and creating a lasting program within a company. REI's Sustainability Manager Kirk Myers discussed how the company's sustainability strategy filters through its operations, product, and supply chain, and how the company has benefited from its sustainability program. Other case studies include "Managing Product Sustainability at Scale" from Wal-Mart Stores' Senior Manager of Sustainability Index T.C. Redd, "The Challenges and Rewards of Managing Sustainability in a Global Franchise Organization" by Coca-Cola Company's Global Director of Safety and Environmental Sustainability Chris Reh, and "Best Buy Environmental Management System - Why Best Buy Certified to ISO 14001 & How the Approach Works in Retail" by Joshue Pansch, senior analyst of environmental compliance for Best Buy Co.
"Case studies provide a unique opportunity to learn from peers about their leading practices and tried solutions to some of the biggest industry challenges. Attendees can take one step closer to achieving their own sustainability goals by seeing how other retailers are implementing successful aspects of their own program," said Adam Siegel, vice president of sustainability and compliance at RILA. "That's the ultimate goal for the Conference. We want to educate and empower individuals to drive change within their own organizations that will improve the industry while taking better care of the planet."
Today's impact sessions included presentations on sustainability measurement in the apparel industry, maximizing Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) reporting to improve resource management, and the repositioning of retail real estate. The day concluded with a networking reception in The Spark.
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.