In her opening remarks at the Retail Sustainability and Environmental Compliance Conference, Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) President Sandy Kennedy announced that RILA will merge its sustainability-focused conference with Sustainable Brands. Beginning in 2017, the two will produce a single conference together than includes a retail-specific program track, in addition to Sustainable Brands’ usual program, which covers sustainability-led brand innovation across multiple consumer-facing industries.
“Over the last nine years, RILA’s sustainability program has evolved into an outcomes-oriented offering that provides retailers with the resources they need to excel at incorporating sustainability across their businesses,” said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. “We are proud of where the program is today and we look forward to partnering with Sustainable Brands to take our event to the next level. In addition to the retail specific content that retailers value, the new conference format will expose retailers to the leading sustainability practices employed by other major industries.
“This strategic partnership offers a giant leap forward for both communities - retailers and their brand customers - who are key partners of the value network required to shift consumer demand and behavior as well as serve that new consumer demand,” states KoAnn Vikoren Skryzniarz, founder of Sustainable Brands. “Merging the two events will create a stronger gravitational pull for the two communities to share insights and collaborate more fully. We look forward to accelerating momentum together heading into SB’17 Detroit and beyond.”
In addition to this partnership, RILA will continue to provide separate networking events for retailers throughout the year to maintain our established community of sustainability professionals. This includes a member-only meeting at US-based Sustainable Brands event, as well as the usual member meetings throughout the year.
This valuable new partnership with Sustainable Brands will also allow RILA to direct its energy toward growing its offerings for environmental compliance, energy, and responsible sourcing executives in retail – critical communities it has built over the last ten years.
Most notably, RILA will provide gathering places for those executives throughout the coming years. For environmental compliance executives, RILA will continue to host two annual meetings and other gatherings, as well as building its efforts to reform the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Center for Retail Compliance (CRC), a key pillar for news and tools. For energy executives, RILA will host regional educational workshops and two annual meetings alongside Edison Electric Institute (EEI)’s National Accounts Meetings, and engage DOE, Deloitte, IMT, MIT, and other partners to grow its energy programming. And for its newest community of responsible sourcing executives, RILA will host members-only meetings alongside the ELEVATE Leadership Series and Intertek Ethical Sourcing Forum conferences, and build partnerships with government agencies and other key stakeholders. And for all of these important groups, RILA will generate and share valued resources, keep members informed on relevant issues, and host virtual forums to connect, learn, share, and grow on an even more frequent basis.
“While RILA’s resources devoted to retail’s sustainability, environmental compliance, energy, and responsible sourcing needs are growing, this partnership will allow us to direct those resources in even more targeted and valuable ways,” said Adam Siegel, RILA’s senior vice president for research, innovation, and sustainability. “I’m excited about the partnership with Sustainable Brands, and I’m also excited about the opportunities for these existing communities to grow even stronger.”
Major new additional announcements specific to RILA’s environmental compliance, energy, and responsible sourcing offerings will be made in the coming days.
SB’17 Detroit will be held May 22-25th in Detroit, Michigan. For more information, read this Q&A between Siegel and Skryzniarz or visit here.
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.
Executive Vice President, Communications and Strategic Initiatives