Yesterday, the Retail Industry Leaders Association closed out the 2014 Retail Sustainability Conference with a keynote address from AeroVelo Inc. Co-Founders Todd Riechert and Cameron Roberts on the importance of taking on the impossible and how challenges can drive growth within the industry when people prepare themselves to take them on.
The three-day summit began with a keynote from Best Buy Chief Executive Hubert Joly, and launched the Retail Horizons project, a collaboration between RILA and Forum for the Future, made possible through the support of Target and Unilever.
Retail Horizons was designed to help retailers develop roadmaps toward more sustainable futures, proactively adapting to emerging trends around the globe. The project is designed to provide retailers the tools they need to take action to safeguard their future, protect our environment, and improve the lives of their customers, workers, and suppliers. To view the Retail Horizons materials, visit www.rila.org/future or download the media kit.
Further, the conference offered industry executives educational opportunities, offsite tours of 3M's Innovation Center and Target Field, exposure to the latest trends in sustainability and insight into successful retail industry initiatives.
Before the closing keynote, the final day began with a series of breakouts following the same tracks as day two, sustainability, environmental compliance and energy management.
The sustainability sessions focused on the importance of collaboration to driving sustainable operations, improving product sustainability and transparency, how to quantify the impact of sustainable operations on a business, driving sustainable action in your brands and initiatives for sourcing and selling safer products.
Attendees in the environmental compliance track could choose between breakouts focused on hazardous waste reporting and data management or an update on new environmental regulations impacting the retail industry, while those interested in energy management in a retail setting chose between presentations on managing energy as an asset and a review of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy's building energy programs.
"The conference and the Retail Horizons program were a huge success," said Adam Siegel, Vice President of Sustainability at RILA. "It is our goal each year to put together a program that empowers the executives in attendance to take what they have learned out into the world and improve industry operations toward a more sustainable future. The program toolkit will help them do that—and I look forward to working with all of these retailers to make it happen."
The 2015 Retail Sustainability Conference will be held from September 15 to September 18, 2015 in Austin, Texas.
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 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.