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The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) opened the final day of its 2011 Retail Sustainability Conference Friday with a powerful mission-driven presentation from Walter Robb, co-chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market.
Robb shared the unique company culture that makes up Whole Food’s core values and how the company lives the three elements of its mission: Whole Foods – Whole People – Whole Planet. He also addressed how Whole Foods is leading the charge to supply chain transparency and visibility, how customers and suppliers are adapting and changing to that new level of responsibility, and how customer perceptions of green and natural products have changed with the economic climate of the past several years.
“Whole Foods is known for its tremendous business model and as one of the pioneers in sustainable retailing. It was great to hear the perspective of one of the industry’s most respected leaders. Walter painted an excellent picture of what we can expect moving forward and where the industry is likely to be heading next,” said Adam Siegel, vice president of sustainability and retail operations.
Closing out the final day were several facilitated working sessions where participants discussed various trends and developed and agenda for the Retail Sustainability Initiative to work on in 2012. These sessions included: Growing the Retail-Landlord Relationship, Collaborating with Product Suppliers, Collaborating with State and Federal Regulators, Collaborating with Local Communities.
“This year’s conference surpassed all expectations. With attendance up over last year and an array of fresh and innovative conference sessions, we couldn’t be more pleased. We’ve heard great feedback from our attendees and are looking forward to welcoming them back in 2012 for an even more innovative event,” Siegel concluded.
RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of America jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.