7 Retailers Serious About Sustainability
It’s no secret that corporate responsibility and sustainability drives customer loyalty, increases sales and is especially important to millennial shoppers. Here’s a look at what these popular retailers are doing to show shoppers they’re serious about sustainability.
The H&M group is comprised of nine brands – H&M, COS, Monki, Weekday, & Other Stories, Cheap Monday, H&M Home, ARKET and Afound. In 2013, the H&M group banned per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in clothing, accessories and shoes and are part of POPFREE – a two-year project with the overall goal to create a transition in sectors using PFAS to feasible non-fluorinated alternatives. The H&M group’s goal is to use 100 percent recycled or other sustainably sourced materials by 2030. Today, the retailer’s at 57 percent – up from 35 percent since last year. For the past six years, the H&M group has collected 78,000 tons of clothing via customer donations at stores around the world.
The Swedish furniture retailer has switched its entire lighting range to energy-efficient LED and is sourcing all the cotton used in its products from more sustainable sources. Like the H&M group, Ikea is working toward 100 percent renewable energy—producing as much as it consumes in operations—and sourcing all its wood from more sustainable sources by 2020. The IKEA Group and IKEA Foundation have made new commitments adding up to $1 billion for climate action. According to Ikea’s 2018 report, sustainability highlights include: growing home solar customers by 230 percent, owning approximately 180K hectares of responsibly managed forests and saving more than 389K kgs of food.
Lush Cosmetics, an all-natural bath and body brand, is dedicated to eco-friendly products and practices. Lush offers free products to customers who bring in empty product packaging to recycle and makes solid shampoo bars that help reduce packaging waste. To date, the retailer has invested roughly $5.1 million in community agroecology projects in more than 21 countries as part of the Sustainable Lush Fund. Lush’s commitment to sustainability also includes a strong recycling program and discounts to customers who donate clothing.
Though the company admits that they may never reach 100 percent, they’re sure all doing all they can to get there. For nearly 40 years, Patagonia has supported grassroots activists working to find solutions to the environmental crisis. The company commits one percent of sales to Patagonia Action Works program. What’s more, the retailer was one of 138 companies that participated in Time to Vote – a campaign that spreads awareness about the steps employers can take to help their employees set aside time to vote. Patagonia’s first-ever TV commercial aired in 2017 and encouraged customers to take a stand to help defend America’s public lands.
The c-store is dedicated to reducing its impact on the environment by strategically investing in several energy and sustainability programs that increase efficiency and reduce waste and resource consumption. The company has implemented several innovative measures, like LED lighting, energy management systems and high-efficiency HVAC units. As a result, 7‑Eleven has reduced annual CO2 emissions by an estimated 300K metric tons and decreased annual electricity use by 21 percent. Additionally, the company continues to look for ways to improve product packaging by creating environmentally-friendly packaging.
Following pressure from customers and environmental groups, Trader Joe’s has been actively reducing its packaging waste eliminating more than one million pounds of plastic from its stores. Trader Joe’s sustainability plan includes selling less produce wrapped in plastic, swapping out Styrofoam trays with recyclable PET1 trays, replacing plastic shelving and flower bags with renewable alternatives, and no longer using foil and plastic pouches for its tea bags. In 2018, Trader Joe’s donated nearly $370 million dollars of product, which equates to approximately 72 million pounds of food or 60 million meals to fight hunger.
Walmart recently announced its plan to reduce plastic waste, as well as, promote its use of consumer-friendly recycling labels. By 2025, the retailer’s goal is to achieve 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging for its private brands by labeling all food and consumable private brand packaging with the How2Recycle label by 2022. Additionally, Walmart intends to remove one billion metric tons of greenhouse gas from its global supply chain by 2030 with its involvement in Project Gigaton.
GSP continues to seek ways to recycle, conserve natural resources and reduce material waste and emissions as well as helps companies reduce print overages and more. To learn more, contact us today.