Retail companies face risks--monetary, reputational, and, in some cases, safety--from non-compliance with environmental regulations. The RILA Retail Advisor for Environmental Compliance helps reduce this risk, optimize compliance programs, and achieve company goals.
The Advisor is a free cloud-based analytical platform that that provides program evaluation, customized guidance, peer benchmarking and goal setting for retail environmental compliance programs.
The RILA Retail Advisor is free for retail companies. To get started, register for RILA Retail Advisor access. Once your profile is created, you will receive a confirmation email that includes a Quick Start Guide to help you complete your first assessment. Contact us at email@example.com with any questions or feedback.
The Advisor is built around a customized program assessment, based on the Compliance Leadership Model (CLM), that evaluates a company's specific environmental compliance program.
Role-based access control and end-to-end data encryption ensure user and company data remain secure and confidential.
The Advisor collaboration function engages teams and allows work across departments and even with consultants and contractors to gather the most accurate data, enhance understanding, and communicate the importance of compliance across the enterprise.
Users receive tailored expert guidance based on their assessment with information on how to reduce risk and improve performance.
Reports from the Advisor can be used to compare program elements with peers, optimize audit program strategy, in strategic planning, and to communicate the value of your program internally.
Scoring & Visualization
Advisor scores help to identify program strengths and areas for improvement.
The Advisor is the only way to compare you program elements with other retailers, including companies with similar operations and to view industry trends. But only retailers who complete an assessment can see the benchmarking results.
Frequently Asked Questions About the RILA Retail Advisor for Environmental Compliance
WHAT IS RILA RETAIL ADVISOR?
The RILA Retail Advisor is a platform that companies can use to evaluate and improve their environmental compliance programs. It has benchmarking, reporting, tracking, and goal setting functions. RILA Retail Advisor also provide tailored guidance to help retailers improve program performance.
WHAT DOES RILA RETAIL ADVISOR CONSIST OF?
The RILA Retail Advisor is built around a program assessment program that provides guidance on program gaps or risks based. For example, the system may suggest that a company with grocery may want to move their Essential Level Refrigeration Program to the Structured or even Optimized Level to reduce regulatory risk. The RILA Retail Advisor provides reports on program levels, which can be shared internally to help spark conversations on the desired program levels, areas of potential risk, and goals for the future. Reports are also helpful for internal strategic planning and corporate reporting. The Advisor also consists of benchmarking that compares program levels by peer group.
HOW CAN COMPANIES USE RILA RETAIL ADVISOR?
Companies have used RILA Retail Advisor to:
- Better understand their current environmental compliance program
- Improve compliance and environmental performance
- Identify program gaps and/or areas of risk
- Start internal discussions about the optimal program for the company
- Share reports with management to build understanding and support for program optimization
- Benchmark with peers
- Benchmark different parts of the company (e.g., regions, types of facilities, retail banners, etc.)
- Set and track goals for program improvement
DOES RILA RETAIL ADVISOR DOCUMENT COMPLIANCE PROGRAM INADEQUACIES OR ISSUES?
No. RILA Retail Advisor questionnaire assumes that companies have at least an Essential Level program. Only programmatic information is collected; no information on specific performance such as audit results, violations, etc. is collected.
If you are unsure if your program is at the Essential Level, download the RCC Essential Level Summary to evaluate your programs and identify any gaps.
WHO CAN USE RILA RETAIL ADVISOR?
Only verified retailers can use the RILA Retail Advisor or see the benchmarking information.
WILL MY DATA BE SECURE AND CONFIDENTIAL?
Company information entered in RILA Retail Advisor is stored in an encrypted, secure database on a cloud server. The data and detailed results are only available to the company and then, only to individuals given permission by that company’s Organization Manager. Shared benchmarking reports only show aggregate information and do not include individual company names or data. RCC staff only have access to aggregated data and not to company-specific information. The RCC may make some aggregated data public, but only in summary form without any identifying information.
HOW DOES RILA RETAIL ADVISOR HANDLE COMPLEX ORGANIZATIONS that have multiple ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE PROGRAM OR WHERE IMPLEMENTATION IS DISTRIBUTED?
RILA Retail Advisor allows users to set up multiple assessments for an organization. Users can name the assessments to reflect the scope of the compliance program or entity covered by the assessment. For example, it may make sense to have one assessment called East Region and another called West Region. Users can also complete assessments for different sub-brands.
WHAT DO THE RESULTS (SCORES) FROM RILA RETAIL ADVISOR MEAN?
The RILA Retail Advisor uses a hierarchical scoring model, to produces an overall score and sub-scores for each Category, Dimension, and Title (that corresponds to the Compliance Leadership Model (CLM) – see below). Each score has a range between 1 and 100. Scores map to the following ranges:
- Essential: ≤70
- Structured: 71 to 85
The Compliance Leadership Model (CLM) is a matrix that lays out the elements of an effective environmental compliance program with different levels based on a company’s risk and goals. The CLM provides the framework for the RILA Retail Advisor Questionnaire.
WHAT DOES THE CLM CONSIST OF?
The CLM consists of 5 program dimensions with 4 levels. The dimensions are:
Context of Compliance - the reach and structure of an organization’s compliance program---how the organization identifies and tracks obligations, understands environmental impacts, understands stakeholders, establishes responsibility, and the scope of the program;
Leadership & Planning - how the organization manages their environmental compliance program including the level of involvement by top management, compliance policies, target and goal setting, and the communication of targets;
Compliance Operations - compliance programs including standard operating procedures for specific regulatory areas such as air, water, waste, or hazardous materials transportation;
Compliance Support Systems - support functions associated with compliance programs such as training, competence, communications, reporting, records, documentation, and emergency response; and
Continual Improvement - the evaluation and continual improvement functions to performance of a compliance program including inspections, audits, performance status, managing non-compliance, and top management review.
For each dimension, programs can be at one of four levels:
WHAT IS THE OPTIMUM LEVEL FOR A RETAILER?
The first or Essential Level is the minimum compliance program that every organization should have. Beyond that, the optimum level for any element depends on the organization’s specific operations, compliance obligations, risk, and corporate culture. For example, a retailer with gas stations has different regulatory risks than a retailer with a few storage tanks at distribution centers, and as a result, would probably have programs at different levels.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY PROGRAMS ARE ALL AT LEAST AT THE ESSENTIAL LEVEL?
The RCC Essential Level Summary has a checklist to help you evaluate your programs and identify any gaps.
WHAT IS THE CLM FRAMEWORK BASED ON?
The CLM is based on existing compliance frameworks including ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and ISO 19600:2014 Compliance Management Systems – Guidelines. Both are widely used, internationally recognized standards. The CLM also reflects the U.S. Sentencing Commission Guidelines, Chapter Eight – Sentencing of Organizations, Section §8B2.1 Effective Compliance and Ethics Program to ensure that the CLM Essential Level meets the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s description of an effective program.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE IN THE LEVELS?
Essential Level programs are generally implemented at the facility level, use ad hoc approaches rather than organization wide programs, do not use data analysis or other methods to evaluate and reduce compliance risks or improve performance, and limit their focus to compliance rather than improved environmental performance. At this level, top management is still expected to be responsible for compliance.
Structured Level programs tend to implement processes across all facilities and provide increased corporate guidance. However, the scope remains focused on compliance with few efforts to analyze and improve performance or reduce risk. As programs move to the Optimized Level, the scope tends to broaden to include environmental impacts, continuous improvement, and opportunities to reduce risk and improve both compliance and environmental performance.
Proactive Level programs increase the scope of programs further to cover the entire value chain and look for ways to reduce or eliminate risk, drive innovation, and often set aspirational goals. Proactive Level programs typically include more sustainable thinking and circular economy elements in their programs.
The box below has examples of the levels selected by different types of retailers.
Company A is a small clothing retailer that operates stores in malls. With few environmental compliance obligations or risks, most of their programs are at the Essential Level. However, because of a commitment to sustainability, their solid waste program is at the Proactive Level and they have set a goal for zero waste operations.
Company B is a regional retailer that carries a mix of home goods and gifts with both mall and standalone locations. While many of their programs are at the Essential Level, areas with increased regulatory risk such as stormwater and hazardous waste are at the Structured Level. Recently, they started carrying more items that might be considered hazardous waste including electronics, batteries, and personal care products. As a result, the company is moving their hazardous waste program to the Optimized Level to improve compliance and find ways to reduce risk and costs.
Company C is a large grocery chain that also has gas stations. Because of the regulatory and environmental risks associated with the gas stations, refrigeration, and hazardous waste, most of their programs are at the Structured Level. However, to save money and reduce risks, the company is implementing Optimized Level programs for selected areas such as hazardous waste. They are also considering a Proactive level program for solid waste, and are looking to have zero food waste facilities in the future.
Company D is a small grocery chain with a “green” reputation that sells organic foods plus sustainable personal care products. With limited regulatory risk, most programs are at the Essential Level. However, given their corporate culture of sustainability and the significant value of their reputation, they are implementing Proactive Level programs in some areas including refrigeration, solid and hazardous waste, and stormwater.
ARE THERE OTHER RESOURCES AVAILABLE?
Many RCC resources complement the Advisor and CLM. The retail-specific RCC Environmental Management System (EMS) Guidance has detailed information on how to implement an EMS and includes checklists for gap analysis and spreadsheets to help with implementation. The EMS material is useful even for retailers who are not implementing a full EMS, but are looking to implement best practices for certain elements of their program. Resources are organized by CLM dimension in the CLM Resource Library.