Today, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and global sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future released a two-minute video to introduce the Retail Horizons project ahead of the RILA 2014 Retail Sustainability Conference held from September 29 to October 2, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Retail Horizons is a program to support the industry's drive to sustainability, and was made possible with the generous support of sponsors Target and Unilever. It is the culmination of a year-long collaboration between about 50 retail and consumer product brands and is designed to provide retailers with the tools they need to take action to safeguard their future, protect our environment, and improve the lives of their customers, workers, and suppliers.
The introductory video follows the trajectory of retail from its earliest beginnings in open air markets to the omnipresence made possible through major technological advances and encourages retailers and other stakeholders to use the Retail Horizons toolkit so they can begin to develop strategies to adapt and innovate.
"I am proud that the RILA sustainability community, composed of about 50 of the leading retail brands, came together to learn from one another, identify opportunities to grow and innovate together, and promote sustainability," said Adam Siegel, Vice President of Sustainability and Compliance at RILA. "The world is changing rapidly in ways that have already had profound implications on the retail industry. Technologies like the internet and mobile devices will enable retailers to exist everywhere; consumers' expectations around transparency, service, speed, and experience will continue to expand; resources, such as water and raw materials, are likely to become scarcer and more expensive; and data will be ubiquitous. To adapt and grow, retailers can use sustainability as a framework for innovation."
The project will be formally launched at RILA's Retail Sustainability Conference next week. Sally Uren, Forum for the Future's Chief Executive Officer, will launch the program, including four expertly crafted 'futures scenarios' and a free toolkit, to an audience of 450 retail sustainability and environmental compliance professionals. The attendees will then have a chance to dive deep into the materials through three interactive two-hour work sessions on the Future of Stores, Future of Products and Value Chains, and Future of Consumers & Employees.
"Other industries have recognized the power of sustainability to drive the innovation needed if they are going to thrive into the long-term," said Helen Clarkson, Director at Forum for the Future US. "The tools that we have developed through our work on Retail Horizons can help companies in the retail industry think through which challenges are most critical to them and how to tackle them to bring about the change we need for a sustainable future."
For more information about the conference, please visit www.rila.org/rsc, and to see more information about Retail Horizons (including the toolkit which will be available to download on September 29th 2014) please go to www.rila.org/future. In addition, download the media kit for the project here.
About the Retail Industry Leaders Association
The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is the trade association for 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.
RILA's Retail Sustainability Initiative (RSI) engages retail sustainability executives to share best practices, develop new processes, and communicate their efforts to the industry's most crucial stakeholders. RILA uses its annual conference, benchmark studies, collaborative partnerships, and research on behalf of retail sustainability interests to help our members learn and develop their programs.
About Forum for the Future
Forum for the Future is an independent non-profit that works globally with business, government and others to solve complex sustainability challenges. We believe it is critical to transform the key systems we rely on to shape a brighter future and innovate for long-term success.
We have a 18-year track record of working in partnership with pioneering partners; advising and challenging organizations such as Unilever, Pepsico, Skanska, Akzo Nobel and Telefonica O2.
Find out more at www.forumforthefuture.org/ and find us on Facebook and Twitter.