Global Practices in Promoting Environmental Sustainability


Presented by: Ravi Singh, CEO & Secretary General, WWF, India

Purpose of Study
The purpose of this study is to enable a better understanding of environmental sustainability among Indian Retailers. In order to catalyze Indian retail towards innovative solutions, the study highlights a broad spectrum of tangible global examples, where sustainability practices have resulted in positive economic and environmental benefit.

Ravi Singh,
CEO & Secretary General, WWF, India

03 04 05

Key Sustainability Initiatives by Global Retailers

Wal-mart earned $231 mn from diverting 80% of its waste from landfill. It sold the materials within its waste stream to earn profit that is typically achieved by its 50 superstores.

Harish Jakhar, a technician from IKEA, made the IKEA’s popular lamp TEXTUR 34% cheaper than the original one. He eliminated 24 out of 33 components from the lamp, which reduced the weight of the lamp by almost 50%. He also reduced the packaging weight by 28% and changed its fabric covering. The new lamp ‘VIDJA’ was not only cost-efficient, but also sustainable.

Marks & Spencer has over 40 Lower Energy Stores based on LED technology. Use of LEDs in stores has improved the total energy effi ciency across its stores, offi ces and warehouses by 28 per cent to 41.5 kWh/sq.ft. (2006/07: 57.4 kWh/sq.ft.)

Ravi Singh,
CEO & Secretary General, WWF, India

Key Sustainability Initiatives by Global Retailers


Tesco saves over 270 mn pounds a year on energy costs by using energy efficiency measures that it has taken across the group since 2006

Carrefour spends over half a billion Euros per year on its stores’ energy needs. To increase the efficiency and to reduce this expenditure, Carrefour implemented an energy efficiency programme across stores due to which the Group’s energy requirement dropped by 22% (compared to 2004 levels) in 2011. This helped Carrefour save almost 110 million Euros per year. The cost of this programme was some 30 million Euros a year.

Caring offer distinctive benefits that respond to people’s needs, show concern in times of crisis

Key takeaways for improved environmental sustainability

1. Integrate sustainability into the core business strategy that encompasses business operations and stakeholders.

2. Assign senior management resources for setting the sustainability agenda and driving change within the organisation.

3. Engage customers to increase awareness on sustainability through various measures, such as in-store education, labelling and prominent green shelves.

4. Engage employees to help achieve the sustainability agenda, through awareness programme and incentives that promote innovation.

5. Improve resource efficiency across various parameters, such as energy, water, waste, packaging, transportation. This needs to be backed up with a comprehensive environmental management system that sets targets and monitoring plans.

Key takeaways for improved sustainability in Retail

6. Promote the adoption of leading international certifications to position products with consumers and help drive sustainable supply chain practices

7. Engage suppliers to drive sustainability across the supply chain, ranging from education, sustainable purchasing practices, product innovation, re-engineering, efficient supply chain management

8. Increase transparency, through reporting on sustainability that also meets increasing investor requirements for disclosure of Environmental, Social and Governance parameters

9. Engage suppliers to drive sustainability across the supply chain, ranging  from sustainable purchasing practices, product innovation, re-engineering, efficient supply chain management.


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Retailers Association of India (RAI) is the unified voice of Indian retailers. RAI is a not for profit organization (registered under section 25 of Companies Act, 1956), works with all the stakeholders for creating the right environment for the growth of the modern retail industry in India. RAI is the body that encourages, develops, facilitates and supports retailers to become modern and adopt best practices that will delight customers. RAI has a three charter aim of Retail Development, Facilitation and Propagation.