Sustainability is a Priority at World Retail Congress 2022

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Sustainability is a Priority at World Retail Congress 2022

World Retail Congress kicked off this week – running from April 5 – 7 in Rome.  The goal of the congress this year is to establish a global roadmap to rebuild a better retail sector.   

Bringing together industry leaders to share their experiences and insights, World Retail Congress provides opportunity for progression and development in the world of retail.  In this post-pandemic world, it is crucial to come together to access the knowledge and ground-breaking ideas required to achieve this.

This year, the focus of World Retail Congress is innovation and sustainability.  At the core, there are six key pillars shaping the future of retail: our planet, our society, our economy, our business, our consumer and our plan for change.

The global retail industry must work harder and faster to make a meaningful impact to deliver on climate change commitments and sustainability.  World Retail Congress polled 37 major retail businesses around the world, revealing “widespread understanding of the competitive advantages to winning in sustainability.”

Their findings also showed that there was a “clear disconnect between retailers’ bold ambitions and their progress on the sustainability journey.”  The study found that some companies are stuck at “sustainability basics,” simply doing enough to comply with regulations and meet the minimum expectations of investors and other stakeholders. 

Most importantly, the study noted that 90% of the survey respondents who work in sustainability “believe collaboration is key to achieving their goals and targets” and that sustainability initiatives would drive value in the next five to ten years. 

Half of the respondents believed their companies would invest “whatever it takes” to reach their goals. Advantages to winning in sustainability include: a competitive edge over rivals; cheaper borrowing; lower costs; attracting new customers; retaining employees; and the potential for tapping into new revenue streams. 


Ian McGarrigle, chairman of World Retail Congress, said: “As the industry moves in the direction of greater sustainability, a focus on progress, rather than perfection, will be critical.”

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