US Retailers Say Going Green Makes Business Sense

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Image: Retail Systems Research

In 2010, 61% of US retailers surveyed by Retail Systems Research observed that green initiatives "make good business sense," up from 49% the previous year. However, the report "Lean and Green: Sustainable Practices Are Changing Retail, Benchmark 2010" is not entirely packed with upbeat news. For example, "Retailers feel less obliged this year to pursue green initiatives as a result of consumer demand, as only 52 percent say 'our customers expect us to act,' down from 62 percent in 2009." Yet even in the shadow of this downturn in customer expectations, switch-on retailers are pursuing their greener business practices. "The best performing retailers clearly understand that, even as they wait in frustration for the customer to 'come around,' there remains an opportunity to help get him and her there," the report stated.

"More retailers are further along in a true overhaul process," according to the report. Retailers have realized they can do more good by reducing their own energy costs through things such as better heating and cooling systems. They're even replacing old IT devices with those that are more energy efficient.

Only 4% of the 95 retailers surveyed labelled green as a fad. The report's executive summary concludes that "More retailers than ever believe that environmentally responsible initiatives are just plan good business sense." Although, tucked away elsewhere in this well written and presented report is this little nugget: "It appears that the conviction that green pays off has only grown over the last two years."

The full report, Lean and Green: Sustainable Practices Are Changing Retail, Benchmark 2010 is available as a free PDF download from Retail Systems ResearchRetail Systems Research. Via SNEWS (free subscription required).

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