Sustainability in Retail is More Than a Checkmark, it Must be a Core Tenant

June 28, 2023
James Kent


As the conversation on climate moves from change to crisis, sustainability in retail is no longer a dream to obtain; it’s a necessity that industry leaders take meaningful action.

The retail industry, a notorious contributor to global waste and pollution, is a primary player in these dialogues. Recent studies suggest that around 85% of all textiles produced by the fashion industry end up in landfills, making it a significant sustainability challenge. So, where does the retail sector stand regarding environmental responsibility, and what efforts are currently underway to curb its impact?

Today’s consumers ask hard sustainability questions about the brands they shop for and expect answers. Buying into Better™ is changing consumer perceptions on the environmental impact of products; organizations like the NRF (National Retail Federation) provide information on the carbon footprint of retail products to help them make sustainable-conscious decisions in their purchases.

In this episode of “What Just Happened?”, host Christine Russo engages in an enlightening conversation with Scot Case, VP of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability at the NRF, to look at the current state of sustainability in retail. Are they meeting the challenge?

Throughout the episode, Russo and Case discuss:

  • The ongoing challenges the retail industry faces in its journey toward sustainability, from understanding complex supply chains to tackling issues like overproduction, resource management, and waste
  • The crucial role of collaboration in overcoming these challenges and how solutions from one sector could potentially apply to others
  • The emergence of a new generation of leaders in the retail industry who recognize the need for organizational change and systemic thinking to achieve sustainability goals

Scot Case, a veteran in the field of sustainability, has dedicated his career to understanding and addressing the economic and social implications of business practices on our planet. As the VP of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability at NRF, he works tirelessly to ensure that the retail industry recognizes its environmental responsibility and adopts practices that align with sustainability goals. His approach involves not only pushing for industry-wide changes but also working to embed sustainability considerations into the core values and daily operations of individual companies.

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