Earth Day Outlook: Commitment to Sustainability Accelerates in Retail - Retail Innovation Conference & Expo

Earth Day Outlook: Commitment to Sustainability Accelerates in Retail

April 22 marks the “official” celebration of Earth Day – a day to be inspired by the beauty of our planet’s nature and amplify action towards the green revolution. But we all know that having one day out of the year to raise awareness isn’t enough.  

Developing sustainable business practices and enforcing eco-friendly habits requires extremely meaningful planning and yearly analysis as part of a long-term business strategy. Companies that have developed strong Environment Social Governance (ESG) standards are seeing stronger financial performance and overall happier employees.   

From big-box retailers to emerging DTC brands, the entire retail landscape is exploring ways to create a more sustainable future. For example, we’re seeing big-box retailers like Walmart advance its commitment to a zero-emissions transportation fleet with the debut of a 15-liter compressed natural gas engine that will be incorporated into Walmart’s vehicles. Petco has launched an in-store recycling pilot in approximately 40 stores that will collect plastic waste from customers as well as its own operations. Just today, Coach unveiled Coachtopia, a “new world” of circular commerce that’s powered by its community. 

These are just three examples of how retailers are converging the needs of consumers with the needs of the planet.  

To dive even deeper into sustainability practices, we’re offering a few sessions on this topic at the Retail Innovation Conference & Expo featuring a variety of organizations. Check out a few of the sessions below to learn how retail and brand leaders are driving consumer engagement in eco-friendly ways and be sure to add to your schedule in the mobile app if you’ve already secured an All-Access Pass

Panel Session: Sustainability’s Impact on Store Design  
Taking place during the Design:Retail micro-conference on Wednesday, June 14, this exciting panel discussion will feature Amber Bazdar, Director of Global Design at Timberland, Philip Donovan, Principal at Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, and Ian Scott, Retail Consultant and Top 100 Retail Influencer for Rethink Retail. 

We all know that consumers have grown more critical of retailers’ sustainability initiatives: how they source and ship products and even how they package them. This panel discussion will dig into the new opportunities for improving store environments with a sustainable mindset, and how it will impact the long-term value of ESG initiatives. You’ll also learn how to integrate more sustainable materials and operations across the store experience as our experts discuss overall sustainable store design trends.  

Partnering with Managed Marketplaces to Drive Resale & the Circular Economy  
During the Retail Innovation Summit micro-conference on Wednesday, June 14, we have Emily Hosie, Founder & CEO of RebelStork, speaking on real-world insights for driving a circular economy.  

If you don’t want your brand to be hit for “greenwashing” or be left behind amid the resale revolution, you need to think strategically about how sustainability will be embedded and measured across your business. From resale commerce models to repair services, there are many ways brands and retailers can ride the circular wave. Emily Hosie will provide key tips and lessons learned in this critical area of the retail realm. 

Panel Session: Gen Z & Gen Alpha – Creating Impactful Brands for the Next Wave of Consumers   

Scheduled for Thursday, June 15 during the Retail Innovation Summit micro-conference, mark this panel discussion on your personal agenda ASAP! This session will be moderated by Julia Berk, Head of Consumer Insights at Snapchat, featuring panelists: Tanya Brinich, Senior Director of Resale-as-a-Service (RaaS) Client Success at thredUp; David Morin, Head of Retail Strategy at Narvar; and Rainer Castillo, Co-Founder & President of Chubbies. 

Brands are already paying attention to new and evolving consumer behaviors, but now’s the time for them to really prioritize Gen Z and Gen Alpha. That way, they set a strong foundation for long-term loyalty. Take part in this panel session to understand actionable steps you can take to understand what these consumers want and how to future-proof your brand successfully. 

We look forward to continuing the action-oriented conversation towards a greener future in Chicago at #RICE23. Be sure to get your All-Access Pass and start personalizing your session schedule! 

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