Executives Discuss a Greener Product Supply Chain at Retail Sustainability Conference

Orlando, FL - Today the Retail Industry Leaders Association ( http://www.rila.org/pages/default.aspx ) (RILA) welcomed executives to RILA’s 4th annual Retail Sustainability Conference, held in Orlando, Florida. The conference brings together executives involved in establishing sustainability programs and integrating socially responsible practices into their companies.

To hit the ground running, the force behind RILA’s sustainability program, the Retail Sustainability Initiative (RSI), which is committed to driving leadership in retail sustainability, met early in the day to discuss a number of new sustainability initiatives. The group discussed key priorities for the coming year, and in particular, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development's (WBCSD) aspiration for a zero waste consumer product supply chain, both by leveraging existing tools and resources, and by innovating.

“The members of WBCSD, as articulated in our Vision 2050, envision a world where all people live well and within the limits of the planet," said Jessica McGlyn, director of the WBCSD US office. “Part of that vision is a world with not a particle of waste. Today our member companies, working with other companies along the value chain, explored what can be done now and in the immediate future, working together, to achieve that vision.”

“Today, we brought major players in the value chain together to explore best practices, think about new business models and spur creativity to contribute to the realization of a more sustainable product supply chain,” said Adam Siegel, vice president of sustainability and retail operations.“To achieve these goals, we must have much greater value chain collaboration, to unleash business innovation and create shared value for the entire value chain and for society as a whole,” Siegel concluded.

Also taking place on day one, attendees had the opportunity to participate in a four-hour leadership training session conducted by Darcy Winslow, Founder of DSW collective and Sara Schley, Founder of Seed Systems. The session’s objective was is to assist leaders in a better approach toward decision-making that integrates sustainability principles at every level of their business.

Schley and Winslow worked with sustainability leaders to further develop values, skills and networks to engage in deep collaboration with a wide variety of stakeholders across all sectors and throughout the value chain. Allowing leaders to better recognize the interconnectedness of social, economic and environmental factors, and find the critical strategies to drive change. Schley and Winslow’s approach has a proven track record with large multinational corporations who are now recognized as sustainability leaders.

RILA ( http://www.rila.org/pages/default.aspx ) is the trade association of 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 America jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.
 

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