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How to start a sustainable retail journey

Environmental management, Modern Slavery, Sustainable Procurement

Published 06th Mar 23 - by hillarysmith

People who buy for a living have been on the sustainable procurement journey for years. They understand the benefits for their organisation’s profit, as well as the social and environmental benefits.

The organisational and personal retail journeys are different. The quantity purchased, the relationship between parties and the scope are influence are some of those differences. However, one element is common, choice. Making the right choice can make a huge impact overall.

The retail industry has a massive burden guiding sustainable consumption and helping consumers make better choices. Retail purchases can contribute to environmental degradation through the depletion of natural resources, the production of waste, and the emission of greenhouse gases. Retailers can enable consumers to reduce their carbon footprint and limit their contribution to environmental degradation. Sustainable retail purchases can also have a positive impact on society by supporting fair labour practices, promoting social equality, and supporting local communities. By supplying products that are certified as fair trade, organic, or ethical, retailers ensure that the products are produced under fair working conditions, with fair pay and without exploiting vulnerable communities.

Here are my tips on how to enable a sustainable retail experience:

  1. Label products that are made with sustainable materials, recycled materials, cruelty-free and not tested on animals.
  2. Reduce packaging on your product portfolio to reduce waste.
  3. Offer products that have eco-friendly certifications such as Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, or GECA.
  4. Offer products with a long lifespan.
  5. Offer products that are energy-efficient.

Sustainable retail purchases have the potential to reduce negative environmental impacts, promote social equality, and support a sustainable economy. By making conscious and informed purchasing decisions, consumers can help to promote sustainable practices and create a better future for themselves and future generations. Thankfully the School is there to help, providing free online training and information to retail employees and for consumers. Sign up today for free and start learning.