A report by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) has examined sustainability practices across the retail industry.
The study, 2013 Retail Sustainability Report: Fuelling Continuous Development, has been introduced to help companies understand how they compare to others in the industry and where there are opportunities for improvement.
The report consists of data from 30 members of the Retail Industry Association, including Gap, IKEA, Staples, Safeway, Sears, Target, Walmart and the Whole Foods Market – retail companies that represent more than 65,000 locations and collectively generate $1 trillion in global revenue.
The report reflects its findings from interviewing and surveying these companies to determine how they manage, implement and invest in sustainability programmes.
“We learned that retail companies’ sustainability programmes are following a continuous development curve”, the RILA report says.
“They begin by developing programmes and practices, implementing strategies and technologies, and collaborating internally and externally. These activities uncover significant business benefits that fuel further investment in turn.”
It adds, “As the retail sustainability field evolves, a class of top performers has emerged—those companies that have defined the development curve for the industry by embracing the full breadth of sustainability activities, thereby achieving an equally wide breadth of benefits.”
Another key finding within the report is the increasing number of retailers that look for sustainability as an opportunity to deliver great value to their consumers whilst achieving a responsible business. Sustainability programmes are viewed as a source of revolution and provide a key tactic in standing out amongst a competitive market has also increased.
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