Earlier this month the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), a trade association that includes the world’s largest retail companies, accounting for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, released its second Retail Sustainability Report. The results of the report are designed to provide sustainability best practices and benchmarks that can help retail executives throughout the industry.

In a quote taken from GLOBE-Net, Jim Thomas, Vice President of Sustainability, Safety and Environmental Health for Petco and Vice-Chair of RILA’s Retail Sustainability Initiative describes the report as illustrating “the continuing progress that retailers are making in sustainability and demonstrates that retailers recognize the strategic importance of becoming leaders in sustainability across all industry.”

Report finds six common trends among retailers

The report is divided into two sections: Managing Sustainability and Implementing Sustainability and, according to the RILA website, identified the following six trends among retailers today:

  1. There are specific, identifiable attributes that contribute to the growth and success of a retail sustainability program.
  2. Most retail companies have hired a full-time sustainability team with increasingly senior reporting methods.
  3. Companies are acting on sustainability investments that can expect a 2-3 year payback.
  4. The scope of sustainability teams and functions are widening.
  5. Tracking of sustainability metrics is growing in usefulness among retail companies. More than 25% of retailers are measuring conduct compliance, water usage, suppliers audited for social compliance, renewable energy generation, and chemicals of concern.
  6. The pressure on companies to pursue sustainable efforts comes primarily from employees, competitors, and regulators.

Follow the link to read the Retail Sustainability Report in full.

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image credit: Walmart Corporate