Retail Sector

Sustainability in Retailing

Sustainability Trends in Modern Retailing

Customers are increasingly voting with their wallets, choosing to shop with retailers that align with their own personal social and environmental values. This pressure is making waves across the industry driving everything from the diversification of board rooms and living wage policies, to carbon emission reduction targets and sustainable packaging of products. Retailers need to adapt to new expectations from customers, new ways of working across the business, and new environmental and social climates around the world.

As we adapt to the covid-driven e-commerce boom, topics involving product provenance and optimising nodes in the supply chain have become focal points for building back better. Retailers that succeed in today’s world are those who develop new supply chain designs with agility and resilience to future-proof operations.

GWI Conscious Consumer stats
Consumers are increasingly choosing where they shop based on sustainability credentials
Source: Global Web Index

folded clothes in a retail store

Sustainable Retailing

From grocery and CPG stores to fashion and textiles outlets, retailers must focus on sustainable practices across their businesses to maintain competitiveness and increase brand loyalty. This involves reviewing existing supply chain operations, as well as looking closer at their products and how these can be better designed to move away from take-make-waste and towards more sustainable models.

Retailers are in a powerful position to make impactful changes that drive sustainability while enabling a profitable future. Leaders across all sectors of retail are thinking about how sustainability principles and practices, such as ESG, are not a problem to solve, but the solution to cleaner, more efficient, less wasteful practices.

Circular Systems in Sustainable Retail

Interest in circular business models has grown, as they are now a differentiator for building customer loyalty, creating resilience to withstand supply chain turbulence and addressing extended producer responsibility (EPR) requirements across global regions. Circularity also serves to reduce waste and recover materials which can reduce associated costs.

Learn more about circularity

Supplier engagement is another differentiator for those looking to embed sustainability throughout their organisation. As a sector with complicated supply chains, COVID-19 has illustrated the business case for circularity as a tactic to close material loops and build relationships across the value chain to strengthen security of supply. Supplier engagement is paramount to successfully reduce negative impacts in the upstream supply chain through carbon emissions reductions, ensuring ethical working conditions, responsible sourcing and environmentally friendly product labeling.

Learn more about our plastics and recycling

Our Expertise Supporting Retailers

Anthesis has extensive experience delivering sustainability in the retail industry, where we come together with the recognition that to solve the complex challenges that retailers face today, we need diverse expertise and combined skillsets. We seek to share our expertise and experience to help retailers identify opportunities to improve sustainability practices.

We have helped some of the world’s largest grocery, home improvement, outdoor outfitters, department stores and online retailers to create sustainability strategies that strengthens their business model and resonate with their consumer base.

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Anthesis has been an important thought-partner for us. They’ve been so helpful in getting the vendors on board and engaged. We’ve really relied on their expertise and experience to guide us through this process.


Former Sr. Manager of Sustainable Innovation, Gap

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Our chemical strategy will be one of the most comprehensive in the U.S. retail industry, including all Target-owned and national brand products and operations, not just formulated products.


Former VP of Corporate Responsibility, Target

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Anthesis has been instrumental in helping us quantify our carbon footprint and understand where our biggest opportunities lie over the years. This long-term support has allowed us to reach carbon neutrality and maintain our status as the UK’s most ethical water brand – an essential part of what Belu stands for.

Nolan Wright
Head of Operations, Belu Water

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J&J has been a proud member of Product Sustainability Round Table since 2007 and our membership has been a vital component of our product stewardship strategy. It helps us benchmark against other organisations, share best practices, and prepare for emerging trends and issues. The PSRT Leadership Framework has also supported J&J in our path towards more fully institutionalising sustainability across the organisation.

Al Iannuzzi
Senior Director Product Stewardship, J&J

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Sustainability Services for Retailers

Our Services and approach

Anthesis provides agile analytics and research capabilities that deliver actionable, commercial foresight and insight for the retail sector. Our Retail Analytics service offering covers a wide array of service lines:

 

Strategy + Governance Services

 

Supply Chain + Operations Services 

 

Sustainable Products + Services  

 

Brand + Communications Services 

Anthesis provides evidence-based strategies, innovating, and tools to address challenges and unlock opportunities. Our Retail Solutions service offering covers a wide array of service lines:

 

Strategy + Governance Services 

 

Supply Chain + Operations Services

 

Sustainable Products + Services  

 

Brand + Communications Services 

Anthesis provides pragmatic support and services to deliver on-the-ground impact, efficiently and effectively. Our Retail Implementation service offering covers a wide array of service lines:

 

Strategy + Governance Services 

 

Supply Chain + Operations Services 

 

Sustainable Products + Services  

 

Brand + Communications Services 

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Meet our Retail Experts