The Retail Industry leaders Association (RILA) continued the sixth annual Retail Sustainability Conference today, featuring Bruce Karas, Vice President, Environment & Sustainability at the Coca-Cola Company and Eric Olson, Senior Vice President of Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), analyzing successful strategies used by Coca-Cola and other companies that have made sustainability core to their businesses.
The morning allowed participants to choose from an off-site, hands-on activity installing rainwater-collection systems at a charity resort for critically ill children and their families. Alternatively, an in-depth session for attendees new to sustainability featured a panel of executives from Wal-Mart, Office Depot and JC Penney sharing their sustainability journeys, with a special focus on organizational management, new technologies and best practices. Another session, with Forum for the future, zeroed in on the future of sustainability, fostering debate on the importance of adopting new technologies to tackle current and emerging problems.
The afternoon started with a signature element of RILA conferences – roundtable discussions among peers on emerging sustainability issues. The day concluded with a panel showcasing inspiring work from around the world. The panel, composed of the executives from Rebuild Globally, Clean the World, A Gift for Teaching and Matthew 25: Ministries, shared individual stories and experiences of organizations focused on social justice and improving the global community.
“The challenges of the retail industry are frequently changing,” said Adam Siegel, vice president of sustainability and retail operations for RILA. “This event keeps the retail industry current while identifying and discussing where the industry is headed next. There is no better place to be if you want to keep a pulse on the future of the industry’s sustainability needs.”
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.