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Jones, Peter; Comfort, Daphne; Hillier, David (2016)
Publisher: Access Press UK
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: HF5428_Retail
This paper provides a short commentary on the '2015 Retail Sustainability Management Report' published by the US Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). The paper begins by outlining the characteristics of the RILA and providing a summary of the report and it then offers some reflections on its findings. The report provides a positive view of the ways the US retail industry is currently addressing a series of sustainability agendas and strikes an optimistic tone in looking to the future. However the authors argue that the RILA report suggests that the approach to sustainability adopted by the retail industry in the US is primarily, though not exclusively, driven by driven by business imperatives. The accent being on making efficiency gains across a wide range of economic, social and environmental issues rather than on maintaining the viability and integrity of natural ecosystems. More critically the authors suggest that the leading US retailers' commitments to sustainability are currently couched within existing business models centred on continuing growth and consumption, which might be seen to be the antithesis of sustainability.

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