Making headlines for leading the way towards a sustainable future in a resource-constrained world and making solid efforts when it comes to energy efficiency, European retailers are looking great in green.

Despite the tough economic climate, European retailers are continuing to prove that their commitments to living up to their environmental responsibilities and finding new creative solutions to meet their ambitious targets are unwavering, according to a EurActiv press release issued last week.

Europe is getting on board with energy efficiency trends

While North America has been getting green in recent years — with organizations like the Canadian Energy Efficient Alliance and energy efficient projects picking up in the US — European retailers are following these sustainability trends.

“As it stands, small-scale energy efficiency projects do not present great interest to small retailers, although investing in energy efficiency has already started to become apparent in commercial shopping malls, business centers and office buildings, mainly across the U.K.,” reports The Green Optimistic.

With the fourth edition of the Retail Forum for Sustainability’s Annual Event bringing together over 100 sustainability experts from business, civil society and the EU institutions — it’s clear that Europe is making an effort to promote environmental initiatives in their retail sectors.

After another productive year for the Forum, they made sure to highlight efforts like sustainable water management and CSR reporting.

“The Event also saw the launch of the latest edition of the Annual Report of the Retailers Environmental Action Programme (REAP), which details the progress made by REAP members in achieving individual sustainability targets as codified in the ‘Matrix of Environmental Action Points’,” reports the EurActiv press release.

For an overview on Forum of the Future’s Sustainability Trends in European Retail, click here for more information. The work for this project, that aims to report just what retailers are doing to address the big environmental and social challenges of our time — and shows that sustainability is high on the agendas for them,  was sponsored by Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd, from the UK.

The Forum of the Future’s project shows that carbon concern is a top priority across Europe.

“Carbon is king — everyone is talking about it, and acting on, carbon emissions. Packaging, waste and the wellbeing agenda are also prioritized by retailers, but carbon management and reduction come in at, or near the top, for all,” reports Sustainability Trends in European Retail.

Renewable energy sources are becoming more mainstream

Earlier this month we mentioned that home-furniture giant Ikea started selling environmentally sustainable solar energy systems in the UK.

While Ikea has plans to market this renewable energy source worldwide, they selected Britain as its test market due to their mid-life electricity prices and government-sponsored financial incentives that would encourage this type of consumerism, according to The Huffington Post.

Of course, in Canada, we also offer sweet incentives that encourage businesses to take on a more sustainable and energy efficient approach.


Image credit: davidwitchcraft