AI Developing a Green Thumb for Retail: How AI in Retail Can Lead to Sustainability


AI solutions are popping up everywhere in retail, from self-driving robot delivery to augmented reality shopping experiences. But could today’s technology advancements also bring the retail industry closer to its sustainability goals?

AI in retail goes beyond the shopping experience by changing the customer journey to make better, more accurate online shopping decisions, leading to fewer returns. Couple that with AI-driven forecasting and supply chain optimization, which can lead to much less waste and spoilage in retail.

Visual AI in retail helps connects buyers to products, brands, and styles they want and contributes to a burgeoning resale market, which creates a reuse cycle for clothes and other items, reducing landfill waste. While this might not sound like a lot, the fashion industry produces 150 billion garments a year, with 40 million tons ending in landfills.

Sam Ramadori, CEO of BrainBox AI, a company focused on sustainability solutions, likes retail’s progressive approach.

Sam’s Thoughts

Sustainability objectives are front and center for all businesses today, and retailers have particular needs and situations that are unique to them. In particular, the fact that they have multi-site locations as opposed to one manufacturing site. They have hundreds or thousands of locations spread out across the country.

So, when we’re talking about reducing their carbon footprint, one of the large categories Is there are many locations and the energy used to operate those locations. So, there are exciting elements to novel AI technology that can help address their sites’ energy efficiency in very scalable ways.

AI has a super powerful predictive capability and super powerful self-adaptive, so learning each site by site and then the ability to make real-time autonomous decisions to the site’s equipment to reduce energy consumption and demand as efficiently as possible. These exciting new times pay for themselves because energy efficiency is subsidizing that carbon reduction.

To have a negative cost for carbon reduction is unique, and that’s one of the benefits that AI can bring to the table.

Article by James Kent

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