The economic challenges sweeping the country have been tough, but, like most things in life, it’s not the challenging times that define you, but what you do during them. For leaders in the retail industry the last few years have led to great innovation, providing the retail industry every opportunity to reinvent in areas across their operations including in the area of environmental sustainability.
Over the past five years, retailers have realized the competitive advantages to be gained through environmental sustainability. And as a result, we have seen a boom in retailers’ commitment toward, and investment in, sustainability. Though there is still more to do, they are leading the charge and making great progress.
Here at the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) we wanted to take a closer look at just what is being done and what the next steps entail. Over the last nine months we have conducted a series of research projects that have resulted in some valuable industry takeaways.
These findings are part of a larger initiative to develop the first industry-wide Retail Industry Sustainability Report that will be released later this fall. Additionally, RILA will hold its fourth annual Retail Sustainability Conference on Oct. 12 to 14 in Orlando Fla. Here RILA will continue to build on the themes of the research and other industry trends through RILA’s educational content and interactive conference sessions. In addition to covering the key aspects of sustainability and compliance for the retail industry like energy and waste reduction, product and supply chain engagement, we are integrating the leadership skills executives need to succeed: building internal resources, leveraging external resources, communicating, and collaborating.
Designed to highlight sustainability leadership in the retail sector, the industry-wide report will give insight into the challenges and the vision for the industry’s future. It aims to provide the broader retail industry with ways to act on sustainability through framing the critical issues, sharing examples of leading practices, and introducing future industry trends.
Additionally, throughout the year RILA has honed in on three specific areas of research from the report and released the initial findings to the public. These include the retail landlord-tenant relati