Communication • 15.12.2016

Retail industry: act sustainably and talk about it!

“Sustainability and profitability are not mutually exclusive, they complement each other.“

Major retail chains like Coop and Marks & Spencer are role models in many ways when it comes to sustainable retail. They heap awards and accolades for their responsible projects and approaches. Other retailers should also acknowledge this positive effect on consumer perceptions and recognize the benefits of sustainable projects.

“Retail businesses often consider sustainability important, but it is rarely implemented across all levels,“ says Michael Lierow, Partner & Sustainability Expert at the management consulting firm Oliver Wyman. Meanwhile, it is a proven fact that a far-sighted approach to products and value chains can increase revenues and drastically reduce costs – especially in the areas of energy and logistics.

“Retailers like Lidl used to have a downright grungy image, but now they receive numerous awards for their sustainable initiatives“. (Dr. Meike Gebhard)

“Examples like Coop in Switzerland and Marks & Spencer in the UK show that millions and billions of sales and savings can be achieved with long-term and rigorously implemented process management,“ explains Lierow and emphasizes, “Sustainability and profitability are not mutually exclusive, they complement each other: sustainability enables you to reach more customers, generate more revenue and increase profits.“

The prerequisite for this is that companies are also transparent in communicating their efforts. Since 2008, Dr. Meike Gebhard has been the CEO of Utopia, an Internet platform for sustainable consumption that assists companies with their sustainability communication. She also mentions Coop as an exemplary company because it consistently communicates about sustainability. Customers automatically associate the name Coop with sustainability.

Concepts for sustainable strategies should be planned and documented...
Concepts for sustainable strategies should be planned and documented quantifiably and comprehensibly.
Source: panthermedia.net/AlexBrylov

Making sustainability visible

She adds that developments in major supermarket retail chains reveal that it isn’t always easy to find the right path from the start to show consumers what actions a company is taking. “REWE has adopted a very complex sustainability concept for quite some time, but initially had trouble communicating this fact. Meanwhile, EDEKA at first only communicated its partnership with WWF via spots, but proved ultimately right on par with its impact on the end consumer“.

Gebhard emphasizes that in communication, a consistent sustainability strategy that customers can understand is vital. “A commitment to sustainable products is great but also exacting. You need lighthouse projects and changes in the store that are visible because changes cost money and time and should obviously also pay off“. She mentions H&M as an example. ”The store marks organic cotton products at the POS for example with a special green hue on the wall or on signs“.

This visibility is important to increase the consumer’s willingness to pay. Gebhard explains, “The willingness increases if customers want to treat themselves to something good. The biggest challenge then is reaching the masses. Retailers should use all the channels they already use for this – social media, popular marketing channels such as ad inserts and traditional media“.

Small companies can also go green

The fact that Coop and H&M are able to communicate their sustainability efforts to consumers so well is certainly a result of their available resources. Companies like these frequently also have sustainability officers. But what about small and medium-sized enterprises?

Memo AG, the online mail order business for everyday products, and its 130 employees take sustainability in all areas very seriously. Not only are the company’s products sustainable, it also emphasizes a long-term, responsible approach in other areas – and has done so for the past 25 years. The company makes sure products put as little strain as possible on people, the environment and the climate during the manufacturing process, use and disposal. The sustainability officer is in charge of corporate social responsibility.

“Sustainability needs dialog to increase the acceptance of this concept among all stakeholders“. (German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, BMU)

Sustainable? Of course, but companies have to earn this logo first. Afterwards,...
Sustainable? Of course, but companies have to earn this logo first. Afterwards, communication is everything ...
Source: memo AG

“It’s obviously easier for large companies to advertise their involvement with big green marketing campaigns. However, sustainability permeates our entire company and is not just an isolated effort. Needless to say, we don’t attract as much attention as a small company. That’s why it is all the more important for us to communicate our philosophy – for instance through press releases, marketing, and inserts in other publications. We publish a sustainability report every two years. What’s more, one of my colleagues has been in charge of just the social media sector of our company for the past year,“ says Claudia Silber. The result: “Lively communication with customers. Our customers are interested and recognize the added benefits of a sustainable strategy. Right now, a lot is happening in consumer perceptions,“ she says.

Dr. Meike Gebhard agrees, “Sustainability has experienced an enormous boost over the past two to three years“. That’s why it is increasingly important for companies to plan and implement first measures. “Even small efforts are being rewarded,“ she says and adds, “Everyone chooses to do something they can achieve. Compromises are part of the game. After all, I also take the car to travel long distances and not my bike. And companies are who they are. The point is to go on a journey and consider the next steps“.

Author: Natascha Mörs; iXtenso

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: New Mobile Phone Tracking service
30.12.2019   #mobile payment #smartphone

New Mobile Phone Tracking service

Less than 10% of U.S. consumers spend over $1,000 on their smartphones

While flagship smartphones that carry a hefty price tag are often at the forefront of technology news, data from The NPD Group’s new Mobile Phone Tracking service reveals that just under 10 percent of consumers are spending over $1,000 on ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Returns costing retailers billions each year...
09.01.2020   #online trading #dispatch

Returns costing retailers billions each year

B-Stock reveals the most returned Christmas gifts

The number of products being sent back on National Returns Day (2nd January) were expected to be 72 percent higher than the average day in December according to the Royal Mail - contributing massively to the yearly total of £60 billion worth ...

Thumbnail-Photo: E-Commerce Day 2020 made by real.de
13.01.2020   #online trading #e-commerce

E-Commerce Day 2020 made by real.de

11 years e-Commerce Day in Cologne!

The e-Commerce Day - made by real.de, offers online retailers, manufacturers and interested parties the opportunity to learn about the latest trends, the latest developments and interesting features in e-commerce and to exchange information with ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Connected Retail Experiences and StartmeupHK Festival 2020...
01.04.2020   #online trading #brick and mortar retail

Connected Retail Experiences and StartmeupHK Festival 2020

New dates for the events announced

Bailey Communications and InvestHK have confirmed today that the Connected Retail Experiences and StartmeupHK Festival 2020, the flagship event of the startup community event has been rescheduled and will now take place during the week of 6th July, ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Start food waste reduction!
13.03.2020   #sustainability #food retail

Start food waste reduction!

New report provides tips for the food industry

The Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) — a collaborative effort of the Consumer Brands Association, FMI - The Food Industry Association, and the National Restaurant Association—released a new report,“ Messy but Worth It: Lessons ...

Thumbnail-Photo: AllFacebook Marketing Conference 2020
11.12.2019   #marketing planing #event

AllFacebook Marketing Conference 2020

The Social Media Marketing Conference will take place in March 2020 in Munich

3 days, 4 stages, more than 40 speakers, 1000+ participants and 100% social media marketing for companies. At the AllFacebook Marketing Conference from March 17 to 19, 2020 in Munich, Germany, industry participants will meet, exchange ideas and ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Evolving need for AI and big data analytics in mobile marketing...
10.02.2020   #digital marketing #marketing research

Evolving need for AI and big data analytics in mobile marketing

Global mobile marketing industry report 2020-2024

The "Mobile Marketing Market by Component (Platform and Services), Channel, Organization Size (SMES and Large Enterprises), Vertical (Retail and Ecommerce, Travel and Logistics, Automotive, and Telecom and IT), and Region – Global ...

Thumbnail-Photo: E-commerce Berlin Expo 2020 - first speakers announced!...
19.12.2019   #e-commerce #retail

E-commerce Berlin Expo 2020 - first speakers announced!

Save the date: the 13th of February of 2020, STATION-Berlin

This is where e-commerce insights combine with business knowledge and one of a kind networking, during the fifth edition on E-commerce Berlin Expo. The first speakers have already been announced - and saying that they are good and solid, is a real ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Smile please!
13.02.2020   #retail #event

Smile please!

iXtenso – the magazine for retailers showcases trade show exhibit and photo booth at EuroShop 2020

Would you like to bring home a memento that preserves great memories of EuroShop? iXtenso makes it possible. Once again, the magazine for retailers is an exhibitor in Düsseldorf and has a special highlight in store for trade fair ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Consumers continue to drive economy
11.03.2020   #retail #economy

Consumers continue to drive economy

NRF forecasts retail sales will grow 3.5 percent to 4.1 percent

The National Retail Federation today forecast that retail sales during 2020 will increase between 3.5 percent and 4.1 percent to more than $3.9 trillion despite uncertainty from the lingering trade war, coronavirus and the presidential election. ...

Supplier

POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
Am Zubringer 8
32107 Bad Salzuflen
iXtenso - Magazin für den Einzelhandel
iXtenso - Magazin für den Einzelhandel
Celsiusstraße 43
53125 Bonn