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Forty-two retailers, including department stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, discounters and specialty stores, were listed on this year’s Newsweek Green Rankings 2012 list.
“Having so many RILA member companies represented in Newsweek’s Green List reflects the industry’s dedication to identify and implement sustainable practices. Retailers that have launched green initiatives recognize the substantial business and societal benefits of doing so. Companies that are successful in these efforts will be stronger in the short- and long-term for it,” said Adam Siegel, RILA’s VP of sustainability and retail operations.
Newsweek sited 88 percent of the total environmental footprint of retail companies as identified in water use, greenhouse-gas emissions, and general waste generation and disposal combined. The Green Rankings recognize those company’s efforts addressing their environmental impacts by setting long-term targets and implementing companywide operational sustainability programs.
Wal-Mart received a disclosure score of 75.8 for their reporting and involvement in key transparency projects. Their goal of removing 20 million metric tons of greenhouse-gas emissions from their supply chain by 2015 involves suppliers and outside organizations to identify the areas with the most potential to improve. In return, Wal-Mart has launched efforts to develop projects and systems that are transferable across suppliers and countries.
Target was also recognized for its efforts within the community. Target aims to be highly rooted in the localities by community giving for schools and libraries. In addition, Target encourages its team members to volunteer with education-related activities.
“Sustainability has become a core consideration for the retail industry, affecting strategy, operations, workforce engagement, and connection to consumers and communities,” Siegel said. “As retailers continue to innovate ways in reaching their ever-evolving sustainability goals, addressing the challenges requires not only collaboration, but a shared vision as an industry.”
RILA has hosted five successful annual sustainability conferences, attracting over 450 sustainability and compliance professionals from the retail industry to discuss best practices, develop collaborations, and identify future trends. The next Retail Sustainability Conference will be held in September 2013.
Arlington, Va.-based RILA includes more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.