In 2010, more retailers added sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and compliance positions to their staff, raised the profile of those activities, and committed to ambitious, inspiring, business-enhancing goals. At RILA, we developed studies to help executives benchmark against other retailers, hosted topically relevant webinars and conference calls, and convened the third annual Environmental Sustainability and Compliance Conference. I have already heard a number of stories about the value RSI and our conference have brought to our members, from introductions to peers and vendors, to learning new ways of thinking about sustainability.
Based on these accomplishments, there is plenty to be happy about. But we also recognize that there is a lot to be done. So while we are reflecting on our 2010 accomplishments, we’re also thinking about what we learned and what we should do differently.
What do you resolve to do better in 2011? What skills do you need to develop to do your job more effectively? Perhaps you need to learn how to better influence senior management, network internally, or collaborate externally?
What tools or resources could help you with your efforts? Do you need a tool that can help with compliance risk assessment? Or perhaps resources that illustrate the evolving consumer trend toward more socially responsible products?
Finally, with whom do you need to meet to help develop or enhance your sustainability work? Perhaps it’s a solar installer, sustainability consultant, or someone who focuses on the same issues as you at another retailer.
We have begun to develop an agenda for the Retail Sustainability Initiative (RSI) and our Environmental Sustainability and Compliance Conference to address the needs we have already heard. As a sneak preview, next year you can expect to see:
- A new RSI committee focused on communicating, reporting, and engaging with your stakeholders on sustainability and compliance issues.
- A five-part “Best practices in…” webinar series, where retailers will dive deep on their leading energy, waste, product, compliance, and communications practices.
- Operational roadmaps to more sustainable energy and waste operations, products, communicating and engaging, and effective environmental compliance programs – all developed by retailers with experience in these areas.
- A continued emphasis on benchmarking studies to help you learn about your peers’ practices and how you stand relative to other retailers.
- Case studies that illustrate retail best-practices in ways that provide the details, context, and depth that you need to take advantage of their learnings.
- A sustainability & compliance conference that addresses your needs for skill development, resources and tools, and effective networking.
But please recognize that all of these activities are developed with the needs of our members in mind. Ultimately, we want to ensure that our activities are as valuable to our industry leaders as possible.
See you in 2011!
[Complete and submit an application to speak at ESCC 2011! The deadline for submission is January 7, 2011.]