While sustainability has been at the center of retailer strategies for several years, the covid-19 pandemic has given it even greater significance. 

Today, one of the main challenges faced by companies in this industry is the growing demand from consumers for products and services that respect the environment. According to data from the Kantar Global Monitor, 85% of consumers positively value buying products from companies that support causes that interest them.

This presents a unique opportunity for retailers to display their commitment to the environment and promote lasting changes that influence consumer habits, both in their lifestyle and in their buying behavior. Although there are many such initiatives within retail, here are some of the most remarkable:

Promoting recycling and second-hand products 
Many brands such as H&M, Marks & Spencer, Etam, Aesop or L’Oréal have successfully developed initiatives in terms of recycling and environmental protection.

Within the cosmetic industry, companies such as the Shiseido Group have launched a new skin care brand with natural and sustainable products from recycled wood and glass packaging.

In the supermarket sector, Aldi has implemented significant measures to reduce its plastic footprint and has committed to making 100% of its own-brand packaging recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025.

As far as the fashion industry is concerned, companies like Adidas Originals are transforming the plastic waste that floods the oceans into sneakers, while other companies like Kiabi have recently launched second-hand clothing in stores. 

In turn, Desigual’s “Love the World” initiative uses sustainable fibers and recycled denim pieces in its products.

100% eco-friendly stores
Zara is at the forefront of this new store concept, with renewable lighting and air conditioning systems for super-low energy consumption, stores constructed from materials that absorb CO2, in addition to other technological developments (interactive screens) that simultaneously contribute to a more memorable store experience.

For its part, C&A has launched initiatives such as emptying its shop windows to highlight climate change issues to its customers, or its aim to supply all its stores with electricity that comes from 100% renewable energy sources before 2025, thus displaying its commitment to the environment. 

With the aim of taking a further step in its fight to protect the environment, the Lidl chain is committed to eliminating all microplastics from the more than 250 cleaning products, detergents and cosmetics that it is marketing until the end of 2021.

Microplastic-free products and low carbon supply chain
With the aim of taking a further step in its fight to protect the environment, the Lidl chain is committed to eliminating all microplastics from more than 250 cleaning products, detergents and cosmetics that it markets by the end of 2021.

Moreover, Apple is committed to making its supply chain and products 100% carbon neutral by 2030. 

Setting carbon neutral targets
In the digital sector, Tiendeo.co.za is committed to being a carbon neutral platform. In addition to offering a greener alternative to paper leaflets, the online catalog company is also committed to offsetting the carbon emissions emitted by its digital presence through reforestation projects.

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