Responsible Retail: edie launches sector insight report at conference

edie has this week launched a new report providing an in-depth look at the practical steps that can be taken by sustainability professionals in the retail industry to achieve a sustainable future, today.

Officially launched at edie’s annual Responsible Retail conference in London on Thursday (20 September), the 19-page report shows you exactly how retailers should be scaling-up action across all areas of sustainable development. 

Specifically, the report, produced in association with E.ON, looks at the ways businesses within this ever-changing industry should be working, innovating and collaborating to achieve a sustainable future.


Launching the report, edie’s insight editor George Ogleby said: “The retail sector is going through
a period of great transformation. Amid an ever-changing backdrop of new shopping habits, disruptive new business models and the prolific growth of digital retail, a unique opportunity has arisen for British retailers to deliver a sustainable future, today.

“The transition to low-carbon, resource-efficient business models could help retailers drive engagement with staff and consumers and add to the bottom line at a time when brand
trust and resilience is needed most.” 

Responsible retail 

The report is the culmination of comprehensive audience research for the Mission Possible campaign, which included an in-depth of a survey of sustainability, energy and resource professionals from some of the nation’s biggest retail companies.

It begins with a foreword from Marks and Spencer’s (M&S) director of sustainable business Mike Barry, who stresses that the sector must move away from setting “tick-box” sustainability strategies towards a more holistic approach.

Barry writes: “The sustainable business consensus of the past decade is being washed away. Lots of linear, individual targets, steadily ‘ticked off’ served a purpose, and got the ‘flywheel spinning’. But this model cannot keep up with the environmental, social and economic pressures that retail faces.

“So let’s be harsh on ourselves, the scale of our current plans is wholly inadequate. But as Mission Possible shows, we can change provided we develop quickly a new mindset, that recognises the profound need for change and embraces its potential to serve positively consumers, planet and society alike.” 

The report later goes on to showcase the progress leader businesses have made on achieving a sustainable future across the five campaign pillars, before listing several pledges made by the likes of M&S, Kingfisher and House of Fraser in support of Mission Possible. 

The 17-page document is free to download and can be accessed by clicking here.

edie staff

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie