Arlington, VA – The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) continued their fifth annual Retail Sustainability Conference today, opening with Harvard University Professor Rebecca Henderson, who discussed challenges that exist when companies attempt transformative change. Rebecca’s inspirational session shed light on overcoming the obstacles and was followed by one of the signature elements of RILA’s conference - roundtable sessions designed as deep-dives into the issues critical to retail operations and compliance.
Executives from Johnson & Johnson, Wal-Mart, and Best Buy led a discussion on the growing trend of including sustainability information on product scorecards and product labels. Another session focused on trends towards transparency in sourcing and highlighted the critical issues of conflict minerals. The environmental compliance roundtable allowed for discussions on hazardous waste, food waste, e-waste, and reverse logistics. “Sitting Down with Developers” offered tips on how real estate professionals, landlords, and retailers can identify opportunities for energy and waste reduction within their stores.
The day concluded with top merchandising, marketing, and real estate executives from REI, Target, and Costco, respectively, who offered insight on how sustainability-focused leaders can best communicate value through sustainable practices. These leading executives discussed their experiences engaging their teams for organization-wide collaboration on sustainability efforts and the best ways to gain support at all levels of the retail chain.
“Retail sustainability initiatives are rapidly evolving,” said Adam Siegel, vice president of sustainability and retail operations for RILA. “We are delighted to provide a wide range of content for this year’s event and look forward to addressing the most pressing issues and opportunities.”