In the recent past, the term sustainability is gaining a lot of buzz in the business world including in retail. Frankly, some retail businesses are just greenwashing or rather, they tend to convey false PR related messages deceiving consumers on environmental sustainability in their business ecosystem. On the positive side though, we are actually seeing some of the major retailers working towards sustainability!
What is sustainability in business?
If you have been following the news, you have heard about millions of people living in unhygienic environments because lands are full of waste while animals are dying because their habitats are being turned to dumpsites.
One of the biggest problems is that every day, new products are manufactured while others lose their purpose. For the latter, the most common solution is to dump them! Many manufacturers and end consumers are guilty of disposing of waste products in a way that causes damage to the environment in the process.
It’s not all doom and gloom as some retail businesses are shifting their business models with the aim of promoting financial, environmental, and social wellbeing. The most interesting bit is that shoppers are increasingly becoming more aware of sustainability, a feat that’s affecting purchasing decisions. Some of the top retailers are taking note of the pattern with steps towards sustainability and integrating this into their business.
How Retail Brands are moving towards Sustainability
1. Corporate Environmental Sustainability
Major retail stores are now aware that consumers are very conscious of the impact of their actions on the environment and retailers are adding this element in their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. Most of the major retailers are busy searching for ways of promoting sustainability through community events, donations, media outreach, etc.
2. The Sustainability Story
Some top retail brands are working even harder to tell the sustainability narrative to the target consumers. They are not only adding sustainability into their core business values and setup, but they are also making quite some ‘noise’ about it. That said, some of the messages conveyed by brands can be false and meant to portray the business as a sustainable and lure eco-conscious consumer.
Tip: If you are green shopping, then buy only from stores that have actually put in some effort towards sustainability. Consciously buying from local sellers is a good idea as it reduces the stress on global export and transportation. Additionally, you can avail some smart deals, such as Lowers flyers, offer and coupons to economize your shopping. All in all, you can save money and reduce the carbon footprint for your purchase as well.
3. Sustainable Packaging
Retailers are also shifting away from the packaging made of the likes of plastics that have had catastrophic impacts on the environment. A good example is a retailing concept like subscription box services which are gaining traction in retail. We are seeing retailers move into alternative packaging options like bins and dispensers in place of traditional wrappings. Some major retailers are even encouraging consumers to come with their own containers from home where they can then pour things like drinks coffee, nuts, and other products.
4. Changing in Supply Chain Management
Retailers are also recognizing the need for sustainability in supply chain management. Sustainability, in this case, is a factor of economic, social and environmental concerns. For instance, some top retailers are using these factors in the assessment of the sustainability of potential suppliers as part of green initiatives.
5. Renewable Energy
Some retailers have also gone green when it comes to the power, they use to drive their operations. We are seeing retailers invest big particularly in the use of solar and wind energy in operations. The decreasing cost of solar energy, for example, has made it an increasingly attractive investment for retail businesses.
Change is slowly happening across retail industries as they transition to a more sustainable process. Here’s what to know.