The RILA Retail Sustainability Conference held in Minneapolis Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 was an enlightening and inspiring gathering of industry leaders and innovators who are working to innovate in sustainable solutions.
The conference’s keynote address was delivered by Best Buy Chief Executive Officer Hubert Joly, who said Best Buy views sustainability as an essential business practice and one critical to the retailer's future. For instance, Joly told attendees that Best Buy has recycled 1 billion pounds of electronic waste to date and turned recycling into “good business.”
The second day of the conference featured micro-sessions with Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder and former chief executive of Seventh Generation and, Jason Clay, senior vice president of the World Wildlife Fund. In addition, RILA hosted two development workshops, one focused on communicating the value of sustainability throughout an organization and a second on innovation strategies for tackling sustainability problems using the “Mindspark” process, led by executives from Gap, Inc.
Attendees also had the opportunity to participate in a series of breakout sessions focused on three main tracks - sustainability, environmental compliance and retail energy management. To close out the day, Google's Julie Krueger spoke on the new realities of retail, and Visual Storyteller Arlene Birt led a discussion about how to help audiences connect with sustainable initiatives.
The final day of the conference featured additional breakout sessions and a closing session with Forum for the Future on the Retail Horizons Project, a yearlong project that identifies 22 substantiated trends that are proof-points for the necessity to change, thought-provoking scenarios for the future of the US retail sector, and tools organizations can use in those scenarios.
In all, Clean Earth representatives enjoyed being immersed with other industry leaders in a collaborative environment to help retailers navigate the tough challenges they face and communicate the benefits of sustainable solutions.
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